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Financial 411: Weekly Business Roundup

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak's Resignation Spikes Markets

The departure of Egypt's embattled President, Hosni Mubarak, sent markets higher today. As word of Mubarak's resignation got out around 11 a.m., there was a discernible spike in the Dow Jones. And after trading higher earlier in the day, crude oil fell more than a dollar, to $85.61 a barrel.

Gov't Unveils Mortgage Market Options
   
The Obama administration pulled the curtain back Friday on its plans for ending government custodianship of the troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Rather than making a single recommendation, the administration is offering Congress three paths ahead, ranging from almost no government involvement in the mortgage market to a direct, but limited role in guaranteeing some loans. Administration officials said the proposals will end the hybrid model of public-private companies that left the public on the hook for billions of dollars when Fannie and Freddie failed.

Consumer Confidence Reaches New Heights

A new survey reveals consumer confidence rising to its highest level in eight months. Thompson Reuters said optimism about the economy ticked up between January and February among the consumers it spoke with. Nevertheless, Americans are concerned about inflation and don't expect a lot of new jobs to be created anytime soon.

Markets

In trading today, the Dow gained 44 points, closing at 12,273. The index gained 181 points for the week. The Nasdaq ticked up 19 points today, ending at 2,809. The S&P 500 rose seven points to 1,329.

Reviewing this Week's Business and Economic News

This week brought news that the New York Stock Exchange is in advanced talks to be purchased by a German bidder. In Queens, the city unveiled plans for a huge, new affordable housing complex aimed at middle class New Yorkers. And with much fanfare, prosecutors charged three more hedge fund managers with insider training.

Greg David, director of the Business & Economics Reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, joins us to review this week's business and economic news.

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