Stock futures inch higher ahead of Federal Reserve stimulus decision

U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday ahead of an announcement by the Federal Reserve on the future of its economic stimulus program, Reuters reports. Investors held back on making big bets ahead of what is expected to be the first tentative step by the Fed to gradually taper the massive stimulus program that helped prop up the U.S. economy and equity markets for much of the year. TheFederal Open Market Committee is expected to announce its plans for the taper at 1 p.m. CDT.

 

Technology gurus focus on the elderly market

Bloomberg reports: "A group led by former Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and eBay Inc. employees yesterday unveiled Lively. The system of tiny sensors helps the elderly maintain their independence, letting far-flung relatives know whether they take their pills on time or exit the house."

 

Financial crisis led to more suicides in the U.S.

The stresses of recession and unemployment triggered by the global financial crash of 2008 led to a spike in suicides among men in Europe and North America,CNNMoney reports. In the U.S. and Canada, male suicides jumped by nearly 9 percent in 2009, according to new research published in the British Medical Journal. The findings showed the impact of the crisis led to nearly 5,000 additional suicides in 2009 compared with the norm. Nearly the entire increase can be attributed to men taking their own lives, according to the survey of data from 54 countries.