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U.S. Economy


2014 State of the Union Address: Nine Ideas You'll Hear Tonight and Why They Matter

SOTU 2014: U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address tonight, which means tomorrow most media outlets will graph and "wordcloud" his most used buzzwords like "jobs," "invest," and "innovate."

Instead of waiting until after the SOTU, we put together the nine phrases you're likely to hear tonight – as well as why President Obama needs to address them.

Here's your outline of State of the Union 2014:

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U.S. Economy

Don't Fear China and Japan Owning More U.S. Debt

The U.S. Treasury Department said today (Thursday) that total foreign holdings of U.S. debt rose 1.1% in November to $5.72 trillion, putting foreign holdings 0.1% below the all-time high of $5.76 trillion it reached in March 2013.

In particular, China's holdings reached record levels, increasing 0.9% to $1.32 billion, and so did Japan, which boosted its holdings by 1% to $1.19 trillion. The two countries are the largest and second-largest foreign buyers of Treasury debt, respectively.

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Top News

Dismal December Jobs Report Tells Us What the Government Doesn't Want To

After several consecutive months of job gains near or above 200,000, the streak came to an abrupt halt with the December jobs report – reminding everyone how fragile our economy still is.

Payroll growth last month slowed to the slowest pace since January 2011. Employers added a skimpy 74,000 jobs in December, Friday's Labor Department report revealed.

what that means for stocks...

Top News

Why President Obama's Economic Plans Won't Fix Anything

President Obama's economic plans have some pundits scratching their heads this week.

President Obama pushed for a $6.4 billion expansion plan for unemployment benefits this week. He has also unrolled a plan where impoverished areas, termed "Promise Zones," will receive additional tax incentives, housing assistance, and education grants from the federal government.

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Wall Street

The Best and Worst of Wall Street 2013

Of all the things you can say about the world of finance this year, it wasn't boring.

Looking back at the best and worst of Wall Street 2013, we've had record stock market highs, hyped up IPOs, activist investors gone wild, and red-faced moments for some prominent CEOs.

Some of it was sad, most of it was entertaining, but none of it should have distracted you from making money.

We here at Money Morning have created some very special awards to commemorate some of the most striking developments of 2013.

Let's start with that unforgettable Ackman-Icahn smackdown...

Top News

3 Million Americans to Lose Unemployment Benefits in 2014

Today, 1.3 million long-term unemployed workers sit restlessly in Congress' palm. They will be left without federal unemployment benefits just three days after Christmas if Washington fails to rework the budget deal to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (EUC).

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Trend Watch

The 10 Biggest Companies in the U.S. Today

The numbers are in, and the amount of money fueling 2013's biggest companies is staggering…

The 10 biggest companies in the U.S. today earned a combined annual revenue of more than $2.2 trillion in fiscal 2012. That's $1.35 trillion more than the country's credit card debt, and $1.17 trillion more than total student debt.

These moneymakers have been ranked based on total revenue by Fortune. All of them are incorporated in, operated in, and filing taxes in the U.S.

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The Fed

FOMC Meeting Today: Why the Fed Won't Taper

Fed-watchers are pretty sure they know what the word on a Fed taper will be when the official announcement comes following the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting today and tomorrow (Wednesday)…

Wait a while longer.

While the U.S. Federal Reserve has hinted several times in the past six months that it is considering cutting back on its monthly purchase of $85 billion in bonds and mortgage-backed securities (known as quantitative easing, or QE), most expect no Fed taper in the immediate future.

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The Fed

This Chart Will Save You from a Dangerously Popular Delusion

There's a very dangerous meme making the rounds.

It goes something like this:

The economy is improving, therefore the Fed's going to taper… and, when it does, the economy is strong enough to endure the withdrawals that will come with it.

Don't fall for it.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Any amount of stimulus reduction will indeed trigger a "taper tantrum."

This chart is all the proof we need...

Top News

The Strange Numbers Running the World this Week

We live in an age of numbers, and they tell stories worth a thousand pictures. Here's are 10 of the most fanciful, bizarre, infuriating, and compelling ones this week:

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