US Stock Market Spotlights Global Economic Fears

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All eyes were on the U.S. stock market Friday after two days of steep drops this week.

The G-20 nations are hoping a statement of financial resolve will calm market jitters across the globe.

The U.S. government is also trying to boost its markets and the economy, but the outlook is not encouraging.

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 391 points on Thursday. At one point it was down by more than 500.

Part of the fear this week came from the Federal Reserve's latest move. Their strategy -- raise short-term interest rates to lower long-term ones.

But economists doubt the plan will do much since U.S. interest rates are already near record lows.

"The Fed didn't really deliver this time around. They tried to alter the existing stimulus format instead of adding more money. Didn't move interest rates all that much," explained Dominic Chu of Bloomberg.

The markets' negative attitude is also influenced by the gridlock in Congress. Lawmakers rejected a funding bill on Wednesday.

Conservatives objected to the bill's spending levels, and Democrats voted against the cuts. Afterward, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, tried to calm fears.

"There's no threat of a government shutdown," Boehner said.

President Obama is hoping his jobs bill will provide a remedy. On Wednesday, he stood in front of a crumbling bridge to explain just how the government can create jobs.

"There is work to be done and workers ready to do it. So let's tell Congress to pass this jobs bill right away," Obama said.

The warnings this week about the world economy are also playing into global fears.

And a new report shows another reason why so many families are struggling. The cost of raising a child has jumped by 40 percent in the last decade.

Experts say raising a child to age 18 now takes more than $225,000.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.