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May 31, 2013 07:19 AM

Friday Morning Business Brief

Investors are more confident the Federal Reserve will continue to boost the economy with its stimulus program after two government reports yesterday indicated tepid U.S. economic growth. That could lead to another up day for the stock market. Yesterday, the Dow Jones rose nearly 22 points. The S&P 500 rose six and the Nasdaq rose nearly 24 points. Futures trading augured opening losses on Wall Street.

  • International stock markets slumped today after a report showed unemployment hitting an all-time high across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. Benchmark crude oil fell below $93 per barrel. The dollar rose against the euro and fell against the yen.
  • The government will release only one economic report today. But the Commerce Department's April personal income and spending report will give investors an idea of how the consumer is behaving.
  • The latest estimate is due out today of when the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will exhaust themselves. Trustees are releasing their annual report. With almost 10,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age, those dates have been creeping closer. Last year's report said the Medicare trust fund would run dry in 2024 and Social Security's trust fund would be exhausted in 2033.
  • Each rise in the unemployment rate across the financially ailing eurozone is another record and it's happened again. Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro rose to 12.2 percent in April from the previous record of 12.1 percent the month before. The figures mask big disparities. While over one in four people are unemployed in Greece and Spain, Germany's rate is down at 5.4 percent.
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  • Economy/Stocks

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