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S&P Closes Over 1,400 for First Time in 3 Months

It's been a day of milestones for the stock market. Stronger corporate earnings reports and expectations that central banks will act to support the economy powered the Standard & Poor's 500 index past 1,400 for the first time in three months.

80 Is the New 65: How High Should We Boost Retirement Age?

Imagine what life would be like if we tacked 15 years onto the official retirement age -- it's not a particularly far-fetched scenario. AIG CEO Robert Benmosche has warned that Europe may have to do just that, and the U.S. will soon face a similar crisis.

Recession in Spain Breeds Pessimism in Global Markets

Markets dipped Monday after official data confirmed that Spain is back in its second recession in three years. Investors had initially bid up stocks on hopes that the Fed would provide more stimulus to the U.S. economy.

Disney Theme Parks Relax Their 'No Beard' Rule

The Happiest Place on Earth isn't about to become the hairiest place on Earth, but Disney is loosening up its strict appearance rules for theme park employees: For the first time, male "cast members" will be allowed to wear beards.

Dow Rises Despite Europe's Woes

On Friday, it looked like this week would be ugly. Standard & Poor's had just downgraded the credit ratings of France and several other E.U. countries, the latest domino to fall in Europe's slow-motion economic train wreck. But at least in the U.S., the stock market has shrugged off that news.

Cautious Investors Stay Focused on Europe's Woes

Stock markets in Europe traded in fairly narrow ranges Monday as Germany's leader warned that Greece may not get its next batch of bailout cash. Chinese shares surged after authorities pledged to increase bank lending to entrepreneurs. Europe's stumbling efforts to get a handle on its debt crisis remains the focus of interest in the markets.

France's Macaron King Sets Out to Conquer America

The macaron is a filled cookie about the diameter of a half dollar coin that has become a foodie currency in its own right in recent years. It's simple in concept, but near impossible to get right -- and for the first time, the French bakery and tearoom that made them famous is opening a U.S. boutique. So, let them eat cake!

Why the European Debt Crisis Is Far From Over

The European debt crisis is back: Portugal is in political turmoil, and may need a major bailout, and Spain may too. But the E.U.'s strong healthy are rebelling against propping up their weaker neighbors. The real issue, though, is that the E.U. hasn't yet addressed the fundamental flaw built into it at the euro's creation.

Japan's Nuke Crisis Revives Call for Safer Reactors

As people in Japan's earthquake-tsunami disaster zone deal with the additional danger of radiation from damaged nuclear reactors, nations across the globe are taking the crisis as a sign that it's time to get more aggressive in their development of safer nuclear power plants.

What U.S. Energy Policy Needs: Less Coal, More Uranium

With cleaner air and energy self-sufficiency high on America's list of priorities, our irrational dislike of nuclear power looks increasingly imprudent. China, France and the U.K. have raced ahead safely on nuclear power: It's well past time for the U.S. to start catching up.

U.S. National Debt Is Huge, but It's Not a Catastrophe

True, the U.S. national debt is large and it should be reduced at some point, but does a large national debt doom a nation to economic ruin? Only if you believe that nations like Germany, France, and Japan are economic basket cases too.

France's AAA Credit Rating Could Be at Risk

France could lose its top AAA credit rating as Europe%u2019s debt crisis spreads, Bloomberg News reported. "If problems in the euro zone aren%u2019t solved quickly, then the conditions of refinancing will be expensive for these countries and the ratings agencies will do more downgrades," Ralf Ahrens, who helps manage about $20 billion as head of fixed income at Frankfurt Trust, told Bloomberg News. "We already see these dynamics in the market. I see France as a risk."

Eurozone Growth Slows as Austerity Takes Its Toll

Economic growth in the eurozone slowed sharply in the third quarter as austerity measures aimed at cutting budget deficits dented the Continent's recovery. Meanwhile, a growing divergence in the economic performance of EU nations is likely to make it tough for the European Central Bank to set its monetary policy.

French Lawyer Battles to Stop Renault Naming Car 'Zoe'

A French lawyer is fighting to stop carmaker Renault (RNSDF) naming its new electric car "Zoe", saying that first names should be sacred. Attorney David Koubbi is representing the parents of two young girls called Zoe Renault, The Associated Press reported. Koubbi argues that corporations should not use first names to market products.

Investigators Probe Cause of Qantas Engine Failure

Airbus SAS and Rolls-Royce Group launched an investigation into why an engine on a Qantas Airways (QUBSF) A380 exploded while the plane was in the air, forcing an emergency landing in Singapore. Investigators from aviation authorities in France, Australia and the UK will all join the investigation, Bloomberg News reported.

Ex-Societe Generale Exec Kerviel Sentenced in Trading Scandal

A French judge sentenced former trader Jerome Kerviel to three years in prison and ordered him to repay a 4.9 billion euro ($6.8 billion) in damages to Societe Generale SA (SCGLY), saying that Kerviel's actions had threatened the bank's existence.

Google's Street View Banned in Czech Republic

Google's controversial Street View service, which has raised privacy concerns in countries around the world, got the heave-ho from the Czech Republic Tuesday after failing to file for the proper registration to operate in that country.

Real Signs of Confidence in Europe's Economy

Although Wall Street anxiously awaited the results of bank stress tests in Europe, the real news is elsewhere: the improving economic conditions across Europe. Can the U.S. learn a lesson from Germany and France?