"Senior Washington officials on Thursday sought to to reassure the markets about the financial health of the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies as their stock prices plunged to their lowest level in 17 years on fears that they could face the possibility of a government bailout," according to The New York Times.
Investor's Business Dailly describes the day for the stock market: "The Nasdaq composite led with a 1% gain. It enjoyed broad support across financial, computer, biotech and telecom sectors. The NYSE composite rose from a loss in early trading to end 0.8% higher. It rode a 2.2% gain in its Energy Index and a 1.1% jump by its International 100 index. The Dow and the S&P 500 also rose from early losses to post 0.7% gains."
Bloomberg.com reports that “European stocks fell, led by retailers and construction companies, on concern the economic slowdown and waning consumer demand will hurt earnings. Most Asian shares declined, while U.S. index futures gained.”
Coinciding with the release of a new version of the iPhone Friday, Apple Inc. will open its App store, “an online bazaar that will attempt to do for mobile applications like games, reference guides and other software what Apple's iTunes Store has done for music,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the United States would back Israel if Iran ever threatened the Middle Eastern nation. "We are sending a message to Iran that we will defend American interests and the interests of our allies," she said.
"Seven peacekeepers were killed and seven critically injured when their convoy was ambushed in Darfur, the biggest hit so far on the struggling United Nations-African Union force that took charge in January," according to The Washington Post.
China said on Thursday that it has stopped five “terrorism groups” planning on targeting the Beijing Olympics. The government is cracking down on threats to the Olympic Games, which begin in less than a month.
"Raw jalapeños, serranos and cilantro, key ingredients in Mexican cooking, are now being linked along with tomatoes to the outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 1,000 people nationwide and forced grocers to pull produce from their shelves," the Mercury News reports.
US Airways says that, beginning in November, it will physically remove in-flight entertainment systems from planes making domestic flights to make planes lighter and thus save about $10 million a year in fuel and other costs.
"Republican John McCain raised more than $22 million in June for his presidential bid, his best fundraising performance of the year, and he ended the month with nearly $27 million cash on hand," the Associated Press reports.
Barack Obama has shifted some of his focus beyond loyal Democrats. While some are disappointed or even angry, they are a minority because “the party has a more pressing concern: winning in November,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Jesse Jackson has apologized for “crude” remarks he made about Sen. Barack Obama during what he said he thought was a private conversation. Jackson made the comments when he thought his microphone was off while taking a break from taping “Fox & Friends” Sunday.
Two-time NBA All-Star Elton Brand has reached a five-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers worth a reported $82 million, “a shrewd move that promptly turned the emerging franchise into Eastern Conference contenders,” the Associated Press reports.