Money Minute: Beef Prices Seen Moving Higher; Mortgage Defaults Tumble

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Beef prices are high and likely to go much higher.

That all-beef hamburger patty will sizzle on the grill, and cause a burn on your budget. New government figures show the price of beef rose about 5 percent last year, and could jump by even more than that this year and again next year. It's a matter of basic supply and demand. Cattle herds are the smallest they've been in decades, largely because of the drought that's ravaging Texas and other big cattle states.

But there's good news on the housing front. The number of homeowners behind on making mortgage payments dropped to 6.4 percent at the end of last year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That's the lowest the delinquency rate has been since early 2008, when the recession was just starting to take hold.

The Obama administration is looking to crack down on companies that hold big hordes of cash overseas to protect their profits from U.S. taxes.
This is potentially a very big deal, applying to billions of dollars of earnings, especially from big tech companies. The proposal reportedly will be part of the White House budget plan that's due out early next month. And here's a shocker: it's likely to face opposition from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

At the same time, the White House is dropping a previous offer to reduce cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients. An official says the change of heart is because Republicans haven't agreed to close any tax loopholes.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 92 points Thursday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) added 29, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 11.

For the first time since marijuana became legal in Colorado at the beginning of the year, pot vendors had to pay taxes Thursday. The state now expects to take in more than $100 million, far more than earlier estimates.

And if you've got a big case of the munchies, the candymaker Russell Stover is reportedly up for sale. MarketWatch says the family-owned company, best-known for its Whitman sampler boxes of chocolates, could fetch more than $1 billion.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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seedykay

How is SS not broken? Doesn't anybody know math and have anycommon sense anymore? If SS is paying out more than it is taking in then how is it not broken? If our government is so hard up for money ask yourself why? Because it too is paying out6 more than it is taking in so they borrow and steal from the hard working American people while being grossly over-paid. I just don't see why people don't get that.

February 25 2014 at 5:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
SPQR

Russell Stover sucks

February 21 2014 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tmlbtb

Wouldn't it be nice to have a steak from cattle who free range and not penned up and force fed a diet that they weren't meant to eat. That's my beef for the day. Thank you, thank you very much.

February 21 2014 at 3:36 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

On social security or soon to be thank a democrat, want to end this programs vote republican.

February 21 2014 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

The republicans cannot think for themselves, they need the big money machine of the GOP to tell them what to say and think. They have a short memory brain for they are told to forget the record of the bush jr. administration. Where the problems of this great country started.

February 21 2014 at 2:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
pllove49

Prices of beef is thru the roof..how much worse ..can or.. will it get???Guess we'll all be eating like rabbits ...or eating rabbits....before long..

February 21 2014 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pllove49's comment
theycallmeroy3

I had rabbits growing up, and they eat all the time. Chewing and chewing and chewing away. Same with cows, if their mouths a moving, they're a chewing. Chickens? Not so much movement in their mouths. Pecking.

February 21 2014 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lodgebrook

Everything else will increase in cost when that
Minimimum hourly wage goes up!

February 21 2014 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richie

Bet there is no shortage of beef in the white house.

February 21 2014 at 11:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cozzod

thats okay. eat more chicken

February 21 2014 at 11:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
alfredschrader

I just invented robogrocer. You simply press a button on your smartphone and a robotic vehicle the size of a celeb Winebago shows up in front of your door step.
The doors open and you shop from the shelves inside for your groceries, use a self check-out, and your shopping is done. You don't even need a car. It's electric so it doesn't use gas, no driver, no check-out people. It runs 24/7 so you can do your grocery shopping at 2am.

February 21 2014 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply