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GameStop shoots up in second surge: Here's how the headlines could affect your money

The average 401(k) balance reached $121,500.

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Markets make up for early week losses, fewer Americans than expected filed first-time unemployment claims, and U.S. adults boosted their retirement savings by this much during Covid. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets make up for losses, GameStop up again

The Dow erased a 110-point loss on Wednesday, climbing 1.4% to close at a record high. The S&P 500 jumped 1.1%, and the Nasdaq ended the session up 1%.

All three major indexes were down as of Thursday morning.

Investors are watching GameStop again. The retailer's stock surged more than 100% on Wednesday, a day after the company announced that CFO Jim Bell will resign in March. Lawmakers raised red flags last month when Reddit users short-squeezed the video game maker's stock; at the time, shares skyrocketed and then fell.

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First-time jobless claims better than expected

The number of Americans who newly filed for unemployment benefits fell sharply, according to the Department of Labor. Jobless claims totaled 730,000 for the week ending February 20. That's better than analysts expected and an improvement from the prior week.

Retirement savings rose during Covid

Americans continued to pad their retirement savings in 2020 despite the pandemic, and those accounts benefited from market gains. The average 401(k) balance reached $121,500 at the end of 2020, an 8% increase from 2019. The average IRA balance hit $128,100 and the average 403(b) reached $106,100. 

By starting early and making regular contributions, you're harnessing the power of compound interest to help your money grow.

Words you've heard: Tax Day

The deadline to file your federal tax return, aka Tax Day, is traditionally April 15. The IRS said it will stick with that deadline this year, even though the agency got a late start. Tax season usually starts in late January but was pushed back to February 12 following tax code changes in December related to the second wave of stimulus checks. You'll have less time to file this year, so it's smart to start preparing early

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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