Money in a Minute: Headlines From Around the Web

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In today's news: Oil prices will plunge further with strategic release, fixed mortgages stay fixed, Google may be in oodles of trouble, Toyota trumps Ford, and the IRS has a heart.

OIL: ‘Head-scratcher’ crude release plunges oil stocks

Oil prices have been dropping, but for some reason, the federal government has decided to pump more oil into the market. “Oil producers tumbled the most in more than a year after the U.S. government announced plans to pour as much as 1 million barrels of stockpiled crude a day into an already-glutted market,” Bloomberg reports.

HOUSING: Fixed mortgage rates hold steady near yearly lows

With home sales still sluggish, some mortgage rates are remaining at near-historic lows. “The average rate on the 30-year loan held steady at 4.50 percent,” USA Today reports. “It hit 4.49 percent two weeks ago, the lowest level this year.”

TECH: Google lands in antitrust crosshairs

Is Google too big to succeed? Federal government antitrust watchdogs may investigate. “The search giant’s top brass – CEO Larry Page and Chairman Eric Schmidt – are being accused of ducking a Senate subcommittee hearing that will probe the company’s market dominance,” CNN reports. “The subcommittee’s chairman is threatening to compel their attendance with a subpoena.”

CARS: Ford slides, Toyota surges in quality survey

The famed car report from J.D. Power and Associates has just been released. While Toyota’s resurgence was expected, Ford’s drop was not. The reason for it? “Ford customers found the automaker’s audio and interior control systems too complex or at times inoperable,” MSNBC reports.

TAXES: IRS increases gas mileage deduction at midyear

At least someone is giving us a break for high gas prices. “The Internal Revenue Service is increasing the tax deduction motorists can take for using private vehicles for business, a rare midyear move sparked by high gas prices,” USA Today reports. “Motorists who use their personal vehicles for business will be able to deduct 55 cents a mile from their taxable income…that’s an increase of 4 cents from the first six months of the year.”

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