Oil stocks are back up Tuesday, amid confusion about the situation in Tripoli. After falling yesterday, oil stocks rose today in Europe, and prices for benchmark oil for October delivery were up to nearly $86 in Paris in the afternoon.
Mortgage rates reached a national average of 4.45 percent for a fixed, 30-year loan. But the near-record lows in mortgage rates are not boosting home sales.
Growth for the first quarter stood at 1.8 percent, down from 3.1 percent in the last three months of 2010.
Gas prices, which are still rising, curbed consumer spending during the first quarter of the year. Bad weather, along with high gas prices, may be responsible for the 1.8 percent annual growth rate of the economy.
Taiwan's planned tax on everything from speculative real estate deals to yachts targets a politically volatile and growing wealth gap. Parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for early next year.
The mail will still go through, as will Social Security payments, veterans benefits, and military pay. Federal employees will still direct plane traffic, inspect food, and prosecute crime. By its own estimates, the federal government represents about 8 percent of the United States economy, so the economic impact of a long government shutdown would eventually affect just about everybody. Even in the short term, some groups will notice. Ironically, some of those who will be affected most are those who like government least. Here's a look at four such groups:
Portugal announced today that it would seek a bailout from the European Union, becoming the fourth country in western Europe to request a financial rescue package. All eyes are now on Spain, the last of the so-called PIGS (an acronym for Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, the least economically robust members of the eurozone) to not request a bailout. Here's a look at the financial rescue packages for each nation.
Aftershocks for the economy include lost man-hours and sales. Japan will have to quickly rebuild infrastructure damaged by the quake and its aftershocks if its businesses are to rebound soon.
8.9 earthquake closes some Japanese refineries. Signs of quiet on planned 'day of rage' in Saudi Arabia also dampen oil prices, but longer outlook is still for strong demand, uncertain supplies.