Stocks: Government shutdown, Federal Reserve timing looming

Uncertainty continues to loom large over the stock market, according to CNNMoney. Investors have a list of unanswered questions, including when the Federal Reserve will finally begin cutting back on its monthly $85 million bond-buying program and whether the U.S. government will shut down on Oct. 1 or default on its debt. These unknowns spooked investors toward the end of last week, causing the Dow Jones industrial average to drop 180 points on Friday. According to the article, the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite index also closed down 0.4 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. However, despite Friday's sell-off, stocks ended the week up between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent.

 

Law opens financing of startups to crowds

Entrepreneurs looking to the crowd to finance their big ideas just got a little extra help from the government, according to The New York Times. Today, federal legislation goes into effect to allow "emerging growth" companies - essentially, small startups - to ask for equity investments publicly, such as through social media sites or elsewhere on the Internet, without having to register the shares for public trading. Business owners will now be able to raise up to $1 million a year this way. The legislation is part of the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, meant to encourage the growth of new businesses.

 

FAA nears new rules on use of electronic devices

This week, a Federal Aviation Administration advisory panel will meet to complete its recommendations to relax most of its restrictions on electronic devices, responding to a surge of electronics on airplanes and pressure from increasingly tech-dependent passengers, according to The New York Times. The guidelines are expected to allow reading e-books or other publications, listening to podcasts, and watching videos, according to several of the panel's members who requested anonymity because they could not comment on the recommendations. The ban on making phone calls, as well as sending and receiving e-mails and text messages or using Wi-Fi, is expected to remain in place, the panel members said. The panel will recommend its new policy to the FAA by the end of the month and it will most likely go into effect next year, the article said.