Money Minute: Stocks Soar to Record Highs; Fraudsters Target Target

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Stocks are at record highs after one last Bernanke inspired rally, and Target was just that -- the target of thieves.

Fraudsters Target Target
Jeff Chiu/AP
Target (TGT) says as many as 40 million of its customers may be victims of a credit and debt card information theft that starting on Black Friday weekend. The scam apparently involved tampering with the computer software that controls the machines used to swipe credit cards at check-out counters. The data heist doesn't appear to involve online purchases. So, if you've shopped at Target stores in the past three weeks, you're urged to carefully check your statements online, starting today.

Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a final gift to investors, by finessing the taper of the Fed's stimulus program and promising to keep interest rates at very low levels for an extended period -- probably well into 2015.

That sent the Dow and S&P 500 to record highs. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) soared 292 points Wednesday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 46 and Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 29 points.

One sector of the market that struggled Wednesday was tech stocks, but they could gain some momentum today following some upbeat earnings news from Oracle (ORCL). The software maker beat Wall Street profit and revenue estimates.

You've heard for years that Warren Buffett is a financial genius, a guru for other investors. But really, how good is he? Well, according to a study by Wealth-X and UBS (UBS), the Oracle of Omaha has made about $37 million a day. That's a gain of about $13 billion for the year, a better performance than all of the other billionaires in the world. The Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B) CEO's reputation is indeed well deserved.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU) say they won't allow in-flight mobile calls, even if regulators clear that for takeoff. Delta says the decision follows negative comments from customers and employees. But, if the Federal Communications Commission allows it, Delta will permit fliers to use texting and email.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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