The S&P 500 is trading above the 1,500 level again this afternoon, while the Dow has added 50 points and the Nasdaq is about 20 points higher. Stocks have been getting a boost from another batch of strong earnings reports, from companies including Procter & Gamble and Starbucks.
- Apple has lost its place as the world's most valuable company. It's been passed by Exxon. The tech company's stock has been falling since it released its quarterly earnings report on Wednesday. It showed flat sales and predicted slowing growth. That has analysts questioning whether Apple can keep growing by just releasing new versions of existing products.
- Hundreds of decisions made by the National Labor Relations Board over the past year could be undone, after a federal appeals court panel today ruled that the President Barack Obama violated the Constitution in making recess appointments to the board. The court says the Senate was officially in session at the time, and the president did not have the power. The Obama administration is expect to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
- On his last day in office, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says: "The economy is stronger than people appreciate." Geithner tells The Associated Press that he expects the U.S. economy will strengthen this year - as long as Congress avoids cutting spending too deeply in a budget deal and Europe's economy gradually improves. He says the economy is no longer being held back by oil shocks and Europe's debt crisis has subsided.
- The world's largest trade show for outdoor gear and clothing is showing off the latest trends. The Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City features 1,000 manufacturers. New products include sunglasses with magnetic pop-out lenses, a line of sleeping bags with a roomy hourglass shape and a thermo-electric camp stove that can boil water and charge electronic devices.
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