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

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In today's roundup: More people are buying homes, good news on unemployment, Chevy Volt goes national, digital book sales now surpassing paperbacks, gold isn't glittering... and the biggest one-year investment gain in history.

Note: Below is the news roundup for 1/28/11 – check our homepage for today’s headlines!

1. INVESTING: Gold is losing its luster

All that glitters is not gold. While the big news yesterday was the Dow Jones industrial average breaking 12,000, CNN Money is reporting, “Gold is looking a little less shiny lately. As fears over debt, inflation, and political instability have eased over the past several weeks, gold has lagged behind stocks and bonds.” Today the precious metal is trading at a three-month low.

(Last week Stacy did a story called “3 Places NOT to Put Money Now.”  Can you guess what one of those places was?)

2. TECH: Amazon sales pop as Kindle books overtake paperbacks

Back in July, Amazon.com boasted that its e-books were selling faster than its hardcover books for the first time. Now the online retailer says the same is true for paperbacks. In other paperless news, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation announced the launch of an iPad-only newspaper called The Daily, which debuts next Wednesday.

(Another recent story you might be interested in: Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Amazon Kindle)

3. CARS: Chevy Volt to be available in all 50 states

Chevrolet’s battery-powered car is spreading like, well, electricity. While it’s still only available in a handful of states, CNN reports, “The Chevrolet Volt will be available in all 50 states by the end of this year.” But it’ll still be tough to buy one: “GM had said it would build only 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011 and 45,000 by the end of 2012.”

4. JOBS: Long-term unemployment rate still sky-high

We’ve sadly grown accustomed to dismal unemployment reports, but the latest at least has a sliver of good news. While more than 4.2 million Americans can’t find work – or as CNN says, “roughly the total population of Kentucky” – the network also reports, “December’s total is a decrease of 200,000 from August 2010.”

5. PAY: The Biggest Investment Gain Ever?

How would you like to earn $158.55 every second for an entire year? CNNMoney.com reports that the same hedge fund manager who earned four billion dollars betting against the housing market in 2007 beat his own record in 2010 by earning five billion betting on gold. If he keeps this up, he may be able to retire soon.

6. HOUSING: Home purchase contracts,mortgages rise

While not good news for bargain-hunters, it’s good news for the rest of us who own homes: “The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in December, fifth increase in the past six months, as mortgage rates continued to rise,” USA Today is reporting. “Contract signings were up in every region of the country except the West.”

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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