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macon.com Midday Update: Stocks jump after government bailout of Citigroup; time spent watching TV up again; Michael Vick back in Va. to face state charges

Wall Street showed its relief Monday over the government's plan to bail out Citigroup Inc. - a move it hopes will help address some of the uncertainty hounding the financial sector. Stocks jumped more than 3 percent, extending Friday's big rally.

While the markets anticipated last week that some sort of rescue could occur, investors appeared emboldened by the U.S. government's decision late Sunday to invest $20 billion in Citigroup and guarantee $306 billion in risky assets. The move by the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is only the latest effort this year to support a banking system troubled by bad debt and flagging confidence.

Besides implementing its $700 billion bailout plan for the overall financial industry, the government has bailed out insurance giant American International Group Inc. and taken over lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The market is also a little more optimistic because President-elect Obama is set to introduce his economic team on Monday and has called for another economic stimulus. His plan targets saving or creating 2.5 million jobs during the next two years. Any plan is expected to exceed the $175 billion Obama proposed during the campaign.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 317.00, or 3.94 percent, to 8,363.42.

Broader stock indicators also jumped. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 35.29, or 4.41 percent, to 835.32, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 60.83, or 4.39 percent, to 1,445.18.

Associated Press

Time spent watching TV up again

Despite the ability to watch video on computers and cell phones, Americans are viewing more television than ever.

Nielsen Media Research said Monday the average American watches 142 hours of TV in a month. Last season the typical home had a television on for eight hours and 18 minutes each day. That's up an hour per day from just 10 years ago.

And the older you are, the more TV you watch. Nielsen said Americans aged 65 and up watch more than 196 hours per month.

Americans are also watching more video on the Internet and mobile devices, although Nielsen said cell phone viewing is mostly a guy thing.

Associated Press

Michael Vick back in Va. to face state charges

Michael Vick is back in Virginia to face state dogfighting charges in a court appearance this week.

Hopewell Regional Jail Superintendent Darnley Hodge said the former NFL star is being held in protective custody. Hodge said Vick is isolated from the rest of the jail's 1,200 inmates to avoid disruptions but is being treated like any other prisoner.

Hodge said Vick arrived Thursday from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he's serving a 23-month sentence for a federal dogfighting conspiracy.

He's due Tuesday in Surry County Circuit Court, where he's expected to plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors that calls for a suspended sentence and probation.

Associated Press

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