Stocks close with gains...Jobs growth slows...Tax credits paid to people who didn't qualify

Tuesday - 10/22/2013, 6:20pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) -- The prospect of more economic stimulus from the Federal Reserve has pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 to its fourth consecutive record close. The S&P rose 10 points to 1,754.67 today. The Dow rose 75 points to 15,467, while the Nasdaq was up nine points at 3,929. Meanwhile, oil prices continue to fall. Benchmark crude for November delivery dropped $1.42 to close at $97.80 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government's September job numbers came in lower than expected, and the White House says October is likely to be worse thanks to the government shutdown. Employers added 148,000 jobs last month, down from a revised August figure of 193,000. However, the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 7.2 percent. In a separate report today, the Commerce Department reports construction spending rose a solid 0.6 percent in August, following a strong 1.4 percent gain in July.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Treasury investigator says the Internal Revenue Service has paid out more than $110 billion in tax credits over the past decade to people who didn't qualify for them. IRS inspector general J. Russell George says more than one-fifth of all credits paid under the Earned Income Tax Credit program went to people who didn't qualify. He says IRS efforts to rein in the problem are being hampered by unscrupulous tax preparers as well as honest families that have trouble calculating the complicated credit.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is dispatching one of his top economic advisers to help fix what's wrong with the government's health care website. Jeffrey Zients is a long-time management consultant who joined the White House in 2009 as chief performance officer, heading an effort to streamline government and cut costs. Obama chose him twice as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. He's due to take over as director of the president's National Economic Council on Jan. 1.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Amazon.com is raising the minimum amount customers will need to spend in order to qualify for free shipping ahead of the holiday shopping season. It's going up from $25 to $35. Amazon.com has been pushing customers to sign up for its Amazon Prime service, which costs $79 a year and provides members free two-day shipping on many items.


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