Money Minute: Volatile Trading; 'Heartbleed' Threat Worsens

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Volatile trading on Wall Street is ramping up the heated debate between the bulls and bears.

The bears say the market is due -- overdue really -- for a correction of 20 percent or more. The bulls counter by saying the economy is picking up steam and corporate profits remain strong. Investors are caught in the middle.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) tumbled 267 points Thursday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) plunged 129 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 39 points.

It was the Nasdaq's biggest point loss in nearly 2½ years. Since hitting a 14-year high on March 5, the Nasdaq has lost 7 percent. The stocks that had been trendy -- mainly biotech, Internet and smaller technology companies -- have been getting hammered.

The so-called "Heartbleed" bug that has infected many thought-to-be secure websites might even more dangerous than previously thought. Two of the biggest makers of network gear -- Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Juniper Networks (JNPR) -- say some of their equipment has been infected by the bug, but not their big routers and servers. This added wrinkle could make it much harder to stamp out the bug.

Meanwhile, federal regulators are warning the nation's banks that their internal security networks could be exposed to hackers. As you've probably heard by now, we are all supposed to change our passwords right away.

And the Obama administration is encouraging businesses to cooperate with each other and share information about hackers -- without running afoul of antitrust laws. Officials say the increasing threat of cyberattacks requires companies to work together to strengthen their information-technology defenses.

Finally, online gambling in New Jersey has been a flop so far. The state had predicted it would generate $1 billion in revenue by July, but through the end of February, gamblers in the state had bet just $27 million since the sites were launched last November.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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k4jlp

NOTE TO CONGRESS:
I ask you when will you do your job and represent my Country? When will you wake up from your dreamworld and realize that many Americans are struggling? We grow tired of hearing about the rich mans "global economy". We don't care what other Countries are doing, we care about whats going on here in America and it's people. Let the world take care of their own problems, they can and will. When are you going to stop the transfer of wealth from us to the elite? My guess is not until we get your attention. You may not like the outcome. Open your eyes, exit the Country Club long enough to know that our patience grows SHORT. We want jobs, we don't want handouts and you telling us how we must run our lives. Read your History books and learn from past mistakes.

April 14 2014 at 8:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

I just love how gas at the pump can rise 30 cents/gallon in 5 days FOR NO REASON. When will you say you have had enough? When will you hold your ELECTED YET BOUGHT OFF CONGRESS ACCOUNTABLE?

April 14 2014 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gsakkal

This so called financial crisis is an artifical circumstance minipulated by Wall Street analysts to create an ingenuous volital condition that serves profits as a result of increases in sales and by- back comissions benifiting their respective brokerage house's bottom line. This extensive minipulation of the market by those involved constitutes a serious financial fraud that requires investigation by the Security Exchange Commission. Those found to be involved and responsible for this criminal behavior shoul be charged, tried, fined, convicted and fired!

April 11 2014 at 4:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
drbobdez

Finally . . . there is a thread of reason on these pages. tmlbtb, you are right on. Comparing 4Q 2003 to 4Q 2013 (just looking at the manufacturing sector): sales increased 53.2%, after tax profits on sales increased 21.8%, and total after tax profits increased 100.03%, While profit on equity for the sector was about 14.7%, it was not evenly distributed. All those small businesses about whom the politicians rage, they generated about 6.7% POE, the big corporations made 15.3% POE. Since most of the small business are "C" corporations, they cannot hold retained earnings, but as of December 2013, the public corporations were sitting on $2.8 Trillion. Somehow, providing Americans with health insurance is unpatriotic (ah! socialism), but corporate cupidity suffers no such stigma. Heck, 47% of the last presidential voters were not bothered by the fact that one of the candidates kept his wealth offshore. While vilifying the government, poor people, women's clinics, affordable health care, minimum wages, equal pay, unions, voter enfranchisement, etc., those who have the money get to keep it and grow it by convincing the voters to keep sending their enablers to congress. My stock portfolio is fine and my business investments are doing well so I don't mind my "boat being lifted" by the tide that lifts the others — still I am amazed by how many people allow themselves to get so distracted by all the political theatre that they keep wanting to vote against their own best interests. Erase the "D" and "R" from your congressional representative and senator's title, look at what they are voting for or against, and I suspect you will find whose welfare they are actually supporting. There are no political parties to support: there are fundamentalists who want to keep folks mired in the 18th century when only white, wealthy, males controlled everything — they use terms like freedom, rights, patriotism, and American exceptionalism to bolster their cause. There are moderates who ebb and flow depending on the issue — for them its always a balancing act between what is good for the few and what is good for the many. Finally there are the progressives who seem to believe that we can do better than ever before, but to do so involves the uncertainty of venturing into uncharted territory. As I recall, the Declaration of Independence recognized that "men will endure that which is endurable" rather than suffer the discomfort of change. My great fear is that too many of us will keep looking at Benghazi at the IRS (both issues having been resolved with some rather comprehensive investigative reports) while their pockets are getting picked by the "old guard."

April 11 2014 at 3:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
tmlbtb

Wallstreet is legalized gambling. Everybody agrees on that. But it's also fixed, for the 1%. It was announced yesterday that American Corp.'s have 2 trillion stored over seas. They are so patriotic until it comes to profits. How much money do they really need to squirrel away and by doing so, not hiring American workers? Our priorties have changed...because of Wallstreet.

April 11 2014 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Donnie George

forget the market whats going on with oil prices that whats killing this country

April 11 2014 at 10:57 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Donnie George's comment
Gumby

either we use too much of cheap oil or little of high priced oil, it makes no difference. The bottom line is that we are oil addicts

April 12 2014 at 8:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gumby's comment
k4jlp

100% INCORRECT. Oil is used in everything we need to live. Our food, clothes, shelter and transportation of ALL OF THE ABOVE. The "Commodity Market" will be the ruin of America and many other Countries of the world. The transfer of wealth continues.....

April 14 2014 at 7:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
Gumby

if we lower oil prices through developing too much oil reserves with severe enviromental damage, we will still waste more of it. people dont care to remember atall. It would be a very wonderful world if all of us united together to save oil and pay less for oil. Hell it aint gonna happen even to Republicoils!

April 12 2014 at 8:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
whscms

Churn, churn, churn market; commissions whether it goes up or down, keep the rumors going so we get volume

April 11 2014 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply