Inflation rates rose more than expected from December to January, causing concern for the Federal Reserve. Prices for the basket of goods that determines the consumer price index showed a 4.3 percent annual growth rate in January, up from 4.1 percent in December.
European and U.S. stock exchanges have been fluid today. European markets contracted following news of Credit Suisse’s $2.85 billion losses. Wall Street exchanges were bullish in the morning despite strong energy stocks and positive news from Wal-Mart. By midday trading, however, the S&P 500 was up only 0.6 percent from this morning's bell.
The price of oil hit an all-time trading high of $100.40 per barrel early today, then dropped to $99.83 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Phil Flynn, an analyst at Chicago’s Alaron Trading Corp., said “It’s almost like the stock market and the oil market are in tandem.”
Retailer Sharper Image filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after posting losses over 11 of the past 13 quarters. The chain will close 90 stores after losing over $135 million in lawsuits related to its Ionic Breeze air purifier.
The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that subscribers to 401(k) retirement plans can sue under a pension protection law to recover losses. "The unanimous decision has implications for 50 million workers with $2.7 trillion invested in 401(k) retirement plans," The New York Times reports.
Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and head of the Pakistan People’s Party, said that he would not accept the premiership. He plans to choose someone else to head the likely coalition between his party and the Pakistani Muslim League-N.
Three FBI officers landed in East Timor today to investigate last week's attack on the presidential compound that wounded President Jose Ramos-Horta. Said U.S. Ambassador George Klemm, “We are very committed to trying to assist the prosecutor general uncover all the facts of the case.”