Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said he would work with whomever is elected president to put together "the best transition you've ever seen," seemingly ruling out rumors that he would stay on for an Obama or McCain administration.

During an interview with CNBC's Larry Kudlow, Paulson said he will work day and night from Election Day through Inauguration Day to ensure a new regime at the cabinet agency.

We're out looking right now for permanent leaders of this TARP, and so we're looking to get someone that will be more than acceptable...to the next president," Paulson said. "And we're going to work--this is going to be a first-rate transition, I can guarantee you that."

Paulson also said he expected economic difficulty in coming months, but refused to outright speculate that the United States is headed for a recession. "[W]e're going to have a number of difficult months here," Paulson said, adding that he thought the Treasury was right to make its initial injection of capital earlier this week from the $700 billion bailout legislation. "I think they're the right actions, and I think they can make a difference, and they can make a difference more quickly than many people recognize."

The stock markets opened mixed Thursday as jobless claims were not as high as expected.

-Michael O'Brien