TOPICS > Economy

News Wrap: Goldman Sachs Faces Criminal Probe

April 30, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news Friday, the federal government began a criminal probe into financial firm Goldman Sachs, following the civil charges launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The government also reported that consumer spending helped lift the economy last quarter, but the boost failed to lower unemployment.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The federal government has started a criminal investigation into the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs. It was widely reported today the Justice Department is acting on information from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC filed civil fraud charges against Goldman two weeks ago. The case involves securities deals that the investment bank arranged.

News of the Goldman probe helped fuel a Wall Street sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 158 points to close at 11008. The Nasdaq fell 50 points to close at 2461. For the week, the Dow lost nearly 2 percent; the Nasdaq fell more than 2.5 percent.

And the price of oil moved back above $86 a barrel, partly on concerns about the Gulf oil spill.

The U.S. economy expanded at the beginning of the year, but not by enough to bring down unemployment. The Commerce Department reported today the gross domestic product grew at a rate of 3.2 percent from January to March.

President Obama welcomed the news, but he acknowledged, the economy still isn’t generating enough jobs.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: After the single biggest economic crisis in our lifetimes, we’re heading in the right direction. We’re moving forward. Our economy is stronger. That economic heartbeat is growing stronger.

While today’s GDP report is an important milepost on our road to recovery, it doesn’t mean much to an American who has lost his or her job and can’t find another.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The unemployment rate in March stood at 9.7 percent. The rate for April is due out next week.

Customers of Anthem Blue Cross in California will not have to face rate hikes of up to 39 percent. The company canceled plans for the increase on Thursday. The state insurance commissioner said Anthem’s original justification for raising premiums had been based on flawed data. A day earlier, Anthem’s parent company, WellPoint, announced first-quarter profits jumped by 50 percent.

Those are some of the day’s main stories. I will be back at the end of the program with a preview of what you will find tonight on the NewsHour’s Web site — but, for now, back to Judy.