MID-DAY UPDATE: Unrest in Libya causes oil prices to spike; home prices fell in December
Oil giant Shell has moved all of its foreign workers out of Libya, following a similar move by BP late last week. With protests in Libya escalating, many economists are concerned about the effect Libya's political turmoil will have on the global oil and gas markets. Already global markets are seeing a price spike -- oil is up to $96 a barrel; that's an increase of almost $7 a barrel to reach a two-and-a-half year high. While OPEC could ask Saudi Arabia to fill Libya's quota, Libya produces up to two million barrels of oil a day, and some are concerned about the long-term effects of stopping the flow of fuel on the economy.
Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index of monthly home prices fell in December. Home prices in 11 major U.S. cities have fallen to their lowest levels since the burst of the housing bubble. On top of that, there's news today that the National Association of Realtors' overstated existing home sales figures potentially going back several years.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has released its 2011 Liveability Ranking and Overview, and Pittsburgh has been named as the most liveable city in the U.S., beating out Los Angeles, New York and even Honolulu. But the overview also ranks liveability globally, and not a single U.S. city ranked in the top 20 cities. Cities in Canada and Australia dominated the top 10 list, while Pittsburgh ranked 29th out of 140.