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Financial 411: Stock Futures Down Amid Overseas Concerns

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi shout slogans while holding his picture during a pro-government rally in Tripoli on February 18, 2011. Supporters of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi shout slogans while holding his picture during a pro-government rally in Tripoli on February 18, 2011. (AFP/Getty)

GM Profits

General Motors has posted its first profitable year since 2004. The automaker that was bailed out by the taxpayers before eventually filing for bankruptcy said it's now growing again. Profits in 2010 were $4.7 billion.

New Home Sales Weakening

The year 2010 was the worst for new home sales in almost a half century. And so far 2011 isn't looking good, either. The government said sales continue to slide. The sale of new homes in January fell nearly 13 percent from the previous year.  The current rate is far below what economists think represents a health real estate market.  Harsh winter weather may have played a role.

Libyan Unrest Worries Investors

The on-going crisis in Libya and in parts of the Middle East continues to send oil prices higher. For a second day, one barrel of oil traded for more than $100 at one point before finally settling at just over $97 a barrel.

As energy prices rise, stocks are falling. Today was the third day in row that the Dow Jones fell. At the end of the day, it lost 37 points to end at 12,069. The S&P lost just over a point to end at 1,306. The NASDAQ actually added 15 points, closing at 2,738.

Southwest Airlines at Newark

Southwest Airlines will start flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport, in March. Port Authority commissioners approved the airline's plan to operate three gates and take 18 daily flight slots previously used by  United. For starters, the airline will have six daily flights to Chicago-Midway and two to St. Louis.

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