Money Minute: Millions Stand to Lose Jobless Benefits; Money Pours into Mutual Funds

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The haves and the have-nots in the economic recovery. That and more of the top money stories you need to know Monday.

Unemployment Benefits
Toby Talbot/AP
More than 2 million people could lose jobless benefits over the next few months if Congress doesn't extend an emergency aid program. Many jobless could end up receiving fewer weeks of benefits.

Meanwhile, a government report shows there are now more women in the job force than there were before the Great Recession began in 2008. That's not the case for men though. They are still nearly 2 million jobs below the peak level.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) start the week at record highs, and both have posted six straight weekly gains. Last week, the Dow gained 1.3 percent, the S&P rose 1.6 percent and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) rallied 1.7 percent. All three major averages are closing in on milestone levels, including 16,000 for the Dow and 4,000 for the Nasdaq.

With stocks are record highs, mom and pop investors are pouring money into stock mutual funds. The research firm TrimTabs says stock funds took in more than $34 billion in new money over the past month.

Boeing (BA) shares are set to take off securing a series of big orders for its new 777X jet from Middle Eastern airlines. Those orders were valued at more than $100 billion, based on list prices, making it Boeing's best-ever product launch. This is significant for the whole U.S. economy, as Boeing is one of the nation's biggest exporters. But it's still not known where the new plane will be built. Workers in Washington State last week rejected a labor pact, and Boeing says it will look elsewhere for a manufacturing plant.

Sony (SNE) also reported strong demand for the rollout of the PlayStation4 video game console. It sold more than 1 million units Friday, the first day it was available. However, online forums suggested there may be serious technical problems with the new consoles. Microsoft (MSFT) rolls out its new Xbox this coming Friday.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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