Money in a Minute: Headlines From Around the Web

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In today's news: Sony suffers huge hack, the stock market rebounds in a big way, lots of homes are for sale but not a lot for rent, Toyota issues a Tundra recall, Southwest gets permission to buy AirTran, and Facebook expands into shopping.

TECHNOLOGY: PlayStation hack may affect 77 million consumers worldwide

In one of the biggest hacks in history, Sony is reporting that the personal information – including credit card numbers and expiration dates – of as many as 77 million consumers may have been stolen from its PlayStation network.  “It said the intrusion was “malicious,” reports the AP, “and the company hired an outside security firm to investigate….and warned users to contact credit agencies and set up fraud alerts.”

See our story PlayStation Network Hacked: What You Should Do Now.

STOCKS: Earnings drive stocks to new 2011 highs

Stocks closed higher yesterday than any other day in the past three years. “Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange,” USA Today reports. The reason: “stronger corporate earnings and a lift in consumer confidence.”

HOUSING: Affordable rental homes hard to find

You’re supposed to spend no more than 30 percent of your income on a place to live. But renters are spending a lot more – too much. “One in four renters – or about 10.1 million households – spend half their paychecks on rent and utilities,” CNN reports. “Making matters worse, the supply of affordable rental housing has been shrinking.”

CARS: Toyota recalling about 51,000 Tundra trucks

The bad news keeps on coming for Toyota. It’s recalling 51,000 Tundra pickups to inspect their rear drive shafts.”An estimated 0.5 percent of the vehicles may have a faulty slip yoke because of improper casting during the foundry process,” MSNBC reports.

AIRLINES: Southwest purchase of AirTran approved by Justice Department

The government isn’t worried that a merger of two low-fare airlines – Southwest and AirTran – will lead to less competition and higher prices. It approved the deal. “The company will be able to offer new routes that neither airline now serves,” Bloomberg reports, “including connecting service through Atlanta from cities currently served by Southwest to cities now served by AirTran.”

TECH: Facebook Deals to debut

Facebook is launching a new deals feature in five cities – San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, and Dallas – and if it works, will expand it nationwide. “Facebook Deals is designed to let the site’s 500 million users easily share their shopping experiences,” USA Today reports. “Users can buy the deal with a credit card, share it, or like it.”

Stacy Johnson

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