Europe's latest debt drama has been weighing on investors, and that left stocks mixed yesterday. The Dow gained 4 points to close at 14,456 but the S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,548 and the Nasdaq dropped 8 ½ points to 3,229. Investors were focused on Cyprus, where the country's lawmakers rejected a proposed bailout plan that would have called for raiding the savings accounts of ordinary citizens.
- As Cyprus' government and central bank work on a 'Plan B' for raising funds needed to secure an international bailout, its Orthodox church says it will put its assets at the country's disposal. The church has considerable wealth, including property and stakes in a bank and a brewery. The archbishop says he's willing to mortgage those assets to invest in government bonds.
- Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks this afternoon after the Federal Reserve issues a policy statement and updates its economic forecasts. Even with a strengthening U.S. economy fueled by more job growth, rising home prices and strong retail sales, economists expect short-term interest rates to remain at record low levels. European stock markets have been rising in anticipation of the Fed's assessment, while concerns about Europe's financial troubles led to mixed results in Asia Wednesday.
- America's lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-2009 recession - but few are bragging. A survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that those earning $35,000 or less annually are generally pessimistic about their finances and career prospects.
- The Carnival Triumph will be out of commission longer than expected. The ship, which was crippled by an engine fire in the Gulf of Mexico last month stranding passengers for five days, is now set to return to service June 3. The delay means 10 more cruises will be canceled. Passengers who were booked on those cruises will get a full refund plus a 25-percent discount on a future cruise.
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