Money in a Minute: Today’s Top Headlines From the World of Money

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In today's roundup: Shaky stocks, food prices may be going up to stay, silver outshines gold as an investment, Ford is driving home the profits... and more news you can use.

STOCKS: Unrest in Egypt weighing heavily on world markets

The Associated Press reports that with Egypt’s future still up in the air, world stock markets will continue to reflect global uncertainty with volatile trading. After losing 166 Dow points on Friday, U.S. markets are expected to open slightly higher today: But if unrest spreads or the world’s supply of oil is threatened, stocks could move lower in a hurry.

FOOD: An era of cheap food may be drawing to a close

If you thought the price of gasoline was going up too fast, corn, soybeans and grain could be next. Reports MSNC: “U.S. grain prices should stay unrelentingly high this year, according to a Reuters poll, the latest sign that the era of cheap food has come to an end.” The big reason? The usual – tight supply, strong global demand.

TECH:Android becomes top smartphone platform

If you own a smartphone that runs Google’s Android operating system – whether it’s a Motorola Droid or an HTC Hero or a Samsung Moment – you now own the most popular OS in the world. Google has just surpassed Nokia and its Symbian OS as the best-selling platform: “Research firm Canalys said on Monday phone makers sold a total of 32.9 million Android-equipped phones in the last quarter, compared with Symbian’s total sales of 31 million.”

PRECIOUS METALS: Is loading up on silver a good investment idea?

“Silver is the new gold,” insists USA Today’s Matt Krantz. Which means it could be the next precious metal to be overhyped and overpriced. But Krantz makes the following pitch: “The price of silver, has nearly doubled from its low to its high price the past 52 weeks. Silver has done even better than gold, which isn’t easy to do.” But he also warns: “When precious metals suffer, they really suffer. Silver has posted annual declines 43 percent of the time going back to 1990.”

CARS: Ford 2010 profit highest in a decade as sales rise

If you’re one of 40,600 hourly employees at Ford, you’re very happy this morning – because the automaker just announced profits of $6.6 billion in 2010, the most in 11 years. And that means employees will each receive a $5,000 profit-sharing check, the most since 2001. Meanwhile, Chrysler posted a loss.

Stacy Johnson

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