News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Awaiting a potential government shutdown

Katharine Crnko Apr 8, 2011

Here are today’s top headlines from the Marketplace Morning Report and around the web

Stocks are up across the globe. Almost 2 percent higher in Japan after a 13 percent surge in shares of Tokyo Electric Power Company. That follows news that on Wednesday workers at the Fukushima plant stopped radioactive water from flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

We’re still waiting for word on whether lawmakers in Washington will reach a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown. The deadline is midnight tonight. If there is a shutdown, the Obama administration says get ready for more trouble in the housing market. That’s because the Federal Housing Administration, which insures about 20 percent of new home loans would stop backing mortgages.

The Federal Reserve says borrowing was up in February, by nearly 4 percent. Much of that increase because of car and student loans. Credit card borrowing fell about 4 percent.

Forbes has released its latest rankings on the net-worth of fictional characters. The magazine looks at real-world economic data to make its determination. Scrooge McDuck tops the list because of all his gold — saw his net-worth skyrocket as the price of the yellow metal did. Texas-tea titan Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies saw his fortune grow as the price of crude surged — now trading at $111 a barrel. The real estate market in Atlantic City’s seen better days, so the board game king Mr. Monopoly fell a few spots on the ranking. But at least he still has free parking.

Stocks are up across Europe as officials hash out the details of Portugal’s bailout. Portugal will have to cut spending as part of the deal.

And finally shopping will make you live longer. Seriously. Scientists in Taiwan studied about 2,000 people over 65 for a ten year period. And found that those who shopped everyday were 27 percent less likely to die during the study period — compared with those who didn’t shop as often. Scientists say shoppers benefited from companionship and exercise. And according to the study, window shopping was just as healthy as actual shopping.

You can read the rest of today’s stories from the Marketplace Morning Report here.

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