- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

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Global stock declines continue

NEW YORK (AP) - Shaky economies and plunging currencies in the developing world are fueling a global sell-off in stocks.

Fearful investors on Monday pushed prices lower across Asia and Europe, though many of the drops weren’t as steep as last week. In the U.S. and in other rich countries, where economies are healthier, investors also retreated, but the selling was not as fierce.

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 41.23 points, or 0.26 percent, to 15,837.88. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 8.73 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,781.56. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was down the most, falling 44.56 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,083.61.

The selling started in Asia, with major indexes in both Hong Kong and Tokyo down more than 2 percent, then spread to Europe and the U.S., as stocks slipped across the board, though much less than feared given the big declines on Friday.

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AP-GfK poll: Breaches not changing people’s habits

NEW YORK (AP) - American shoppers say they are very concerned about the safety of their personal information following a massive security breach at Target, but many aren’t taking steps to ensure their data is more secure, says a new Associated Press—GfK Poll.

The poll finds a striking contradiction: Americans say they fear becoming victims of theft after the breach that compromised 40 million credit and debit cards and personal information of up to 70 million customers. Yet they are apathetic to try to protect their data.

In the survey, nearly half of Americans say they are extremely concerned about their personal data when shopping in stores since the breach. Sixty-one percent say they have deep worries when spending online, while 62 percent are very concerned when they buy on their mobile phones.

But just 37 percent have tried to use cash for purchases rather than pay with plastic in response to data thefts like the one at Target, while only 41 percent have checked their credit reports. And even fewer have changed their online passwords at retailers’ websites, requested new credit or debit card numbers from their bank or signed up for a credit monitoring service.

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US sales of new homes drop 7 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes fell in December for a second consecutive month but even with the pause at the end of the year, sales for all of 2013 climbed to the highest level in five years.

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