Good news, bad news on health care premiums. That's one of the six money stories you need to know this Friday.
Health care insurance premiums for large employers rose this year at their slowest pace in a decade. According to an Aon Hewitt (AON) survey, rates increased by just 3.3 percent, a significant improvement from recent years. The average worker contributed just over $2,300. However, the average premium hike for next year is expected to jump back into the 6-to-7 percent range, and a good part of that added cost will be passed along to employees.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 11 points yesterday, rising to an all-time high. So far this year, the S&P is up more than 21 percent -- great news for people with retirement accounts. Many mutual funds are linked to this index. But the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) slipped 2 points, hurt by big losses from IBM (IBM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) -- all of which reported earnings. IBM's stock price fell to its lowest level in two years.
Shares of Google (GOOG) are moving to record highs following strong earnings. Net rose a better-than-expected 36 percent and one market research firm estimates that Google controls one-third of the worldwide market for online advertising. Still, going forward analyst say the company needs to show more revenue from mobile ads.
With government workers back on the job, we'll start to see a string of economic data coming out. Most importantly, the monthly jobs report -- which was due out two weeks ago today -- will now be released next Tuesday.
Former vice-president Al Gore reveals in a new book that he and a partner tried to buy Twitter back in 2009. The book, by a New York Times reporter, also says Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg met with Twitter's founders in an unsuccessful effort to buy the company. Twitter said no to both, and it's now planning an initial public offering that values the company at more than $10 billion.
Finally, a new way to combine gambling, investing and football. The New York Times reports a new company will offer shares in Arian Foster, a star running back with the Houston Texans, betting on his future earnings from football and endorsements. Of course, it's a very risky proposition.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
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