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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

In Focus Today: Jobless Claims, Madoff

Because of the New Year's holiday, the government will report weekly jobless claims today instead of tomorrow. At 8:30 a.m., we'll see a report of how many people have recently filed for unemployment benefits, just in time for the holidays. We'll look to see how Wall Street absorbs this news today, on its last day of trading for the year. With record losses this year, no doubt many investors will be happy to put 2008 behind them.

Today, alleged Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff has an important court-mandated deadline. Yesterday, a U.S. bankruptcy court approved $28 million to cover salaries and other expenses tied to the liquidation of Madoff's investment firm. Today the civil court handling the case has imposed a deadline for Madoff to report all he knows about the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Check back here for more live updates on this last day of 2008.

--Sara Goo

By Sara Goo  |  December 31, 2008; 7:15 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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