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Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Investors react to debt downgrade; Google’s driverless car crashes

Chau Tu Aug 8, 2011
Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Investors react to debt downgrade; Google’s driverless car crashes

Chau Tu Aug 8, 2011

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

Standard & Poor’s said today it’ll see how its downgrade of U.S. debt will affect state and local governments and insurance companies. Government-backed mortgage providers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have already been downgraded as well.

European shares teetered into positive territory — hopeful about a European Central Bank plan to buy billions of dollars worth of Italian and Spanish bonds.

Interestingly, investors are not fleeing U.S. Treasuries for more highly rated debt. The interest rate on 10-year bonds has actually fallen to about 2.5 percent.

The price of gold has gone above $1,700 for the first time ever, as investors look for safe places for their money.

With all the rough economic news lately, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to just stop and sing a song. That’s exactly what Gary Russo has been doing. He’s a construction worker who’s part of the team building the new 2nd Avenue subway line in New York City. And every day at lunchtime, he stops to belt out some Sinatra for the people passing by. And we have to say — he’s not half bad.

For months and months, Google’s been testing cars with no drivers; cars that’re retrofitted with all kinds of sensors that help them avoid accidents. But over the weekend, near Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, one of those driverless cars was involved in a minor fender bender. The modified Toyota Prius hit another car from behind and caused a pile-up. No one was injured. A Google spokesperson told the website Business Insider the accident happened while a human was manually driving the car.

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