News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Fed plans to keep low interest rates, GDP slows to 1.8%

Katharine Crnko Apr 28, 2011

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

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a first-ever press conference yesterday. He announced that the Fed plans to keep interest rates low. Following the address the dollar dropped in reaction, but share prices and gold have hit new highs.

The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending — bad weather delayed construction projects — and the federal government slashed defense spending.

Tornadoes and violent storms ripped through seven southern states, killing more than 220 people, destroying property and downing trees from Mississippi to North Carolina over the past two days. Marketplace Morning Report host Steve Chiotakis reported live from Birmingham on the devastation.

The number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits jumped last week by 25,000 to 429,000. That’s the highest weekly level since January.

Chrysler is set to announce today that it has a plan to pay back more than $5 billion to the U.S. government and more than $1 billion to the Canadian government. It wants to do that as soon as next month by selling bonds to investors.

High oil prices and refining margins helped Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell report increases in first quarter earnings and beat forecasts. Exxon Mobil said first quarter net income rose to $10.65 billion.

The University of Nebraska in Lincoln has a new pricing idea. According to the Omaha World Herald, the school’s chancellor is set to unveil a plan tomorrow that would make tuition for an engineering student significantly higher than tuition for an English major. The theory is engineers will make a lot more money than writers after they graduate. I guess the chancellor out there has never heard of Stephen King, John Grisham, or Danielle Steele.

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

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