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MarketWatch for Thursday, January 30, 2014

If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Thursday, January 30, 2014 ....
If you're keeping on top of the stock markets this morning, Thursday, January 30, 2014 ....

The Nikkei dropped 377 points today in trading in Japan.
On Wall Street, the Dow also fell - 190 points by the close Wednesday.
And the Nasdaq is off 47.

Facebook reported better than expected earnings after the closing bell.  The company says a jump in advertising helped boost revenue 63-percent in the last quarter.

Wall Street is also watching for the latest snapshot of the country's economic growth. This morning the government releases its GDP report for the last quarter.  After a surge in consumer spending and housing sales, economists are expecting a growth rate of about 3-percent.

The stronger economy is one reason the Federal Reserve says it is continuing to cut back its stimulus program. That news sent the stock market sharply lower on Wednesday.

It's been a rocky month for Wall Street. The broader S&P 500 is down 4.2 percent in January, on track for the biggest monthly decline in nearly two years.

One way investors are making money in the housing market is by flipping properties. That means buying a home and then selling it within six months for a higher price. According to Realty Trac, 4.6 percent of all home sales last year were flips. The average profit came to more than $62,000.

Senate Democrats hope to start debating a measure next week that would extend jobless benefits for the long term unemployed. Majority Leader Harry Reid says he's still looking for votes for his proposal, which would extend benefits for another three months. More than a million people were cut off at the end of December.


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