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Five Big Stories of the Week

By Times Staff
Published September 23, 2007


1. Fed rate cut jolts markets

Markets soar after the Federal Reserve makes an unexpectedly high half-percentage-point cut in the federal funds rate.

What it means: As with any rate cut: good for borrowers (cheaper loans) and not so good for savers (cheaper CDs).

2. New carrier targets the bay area

Myrtle Beach Direct Air plans to launch service to five markets out of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

What it means: The small sibling to Tampa International continues to rebound from the loss of its two largest carriers, ATA and Southeast Airlines, more than two years ago.

3. Holiday sales outlook dims

The National Retail Federation cuts back its forecast to a modest 4 percent sales gain for the two-month holiday season.

What it means: This could be the weakest performance since shoppers upped their spending a scant 1.3 percent in 2002 at the end of a recession. And some experts think the revised forecast is optimistic.

4. The Boss hits it big

New York Yankees owner and Tampa resident George Steinbrenner debuts at #380 on the Forbes magazine list of 400 richest Americans.

What it means: Steinbrenner's gain (due to an estimated net worth of $1.3-billion) comes as Jabil Circuit chairman and St. Petersburg resident Bill Morean falls off the list.

5. Canadian dollar hits parity with U.S. dollar

For the first time in three decades, Canadians can exchange 1-for-1 with U.S. money due to the slumping American dollar.

What it means: Americans will pay more for imports and trips north, but more snowbirds may be lured to Florida as a bargain.


[Last modified September 21, 2007, 20:33:04]

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