MarketWatch for Wednesday, February 19, 2014

By CBS News

Published 02/19 2014 12:53PM

Updated 02/19 2014 12:58PM

If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning,  Wednesday, February 19, 2014....

The Nikkei is down 77 points today in Tokyo.
On Wall Street, Dow was down 24 points Tuesday.
And the Nasdaq was up 29.
Confidence among U.S. homebuilders plummeted in February--the largest one month drop ever.
Builders say the cold weather has kept potential buyers from looking at new homes.
They also say higher prices for construction materials are hurting the industry.

Raising the U.S. minimum wage may cost some people their jobs.
That's according to the congressional budget office analysis.
It says the democratic plan to gradually increase the current 7-dollars and 25 cents minimum wage to 10-dollars and 10 cents per hour, could reduce employment by about 500-thousand. The white house disagrees and points to other research that says the increase in minimum wage, would be an overall benefit to Americans.

The top three tuna brands are trying to become eligible to sell tuna to the U.S Agriculture Department for school lunches.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Starkist, Bumble Bee Foods, and Chicken of the Sea want eligibility requirements, relaxed.  Right now only Starkist qualifies because of a rule that any seafood the department buys must be 100% U.S.- produced.  In recent years, the U.S. Agriculture Department has reportedly spent $15 to $20 million on tuna.

If you're looking for a place to stay that welcomes smokers there's a website for you. It's called smoketels-dot-com.  The company says it has smoking rooms available for booking at 100,000 hotels around the  world.

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