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Yellen calls for more stimulus, and bitcoin hits new milestones: How the headlines can affect your money

Plus, how to save money on gas as fuel prices rise.

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Janet Yellen
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Traders are watching for stimulus news, and bitcoin reaches new milestones. Plus, how to save money on gas as fuel prices rise. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets move on stimulus hopes 

On Thursday, all three major indexes fell as investors digested a worse-than-expected jobless report and disappointing fourth-quarter earnings from Walmart. The S&P and Dow each dipped 0.4%, and the Nasdaq shed 0.7%.

Friday morning, markets rose. Traders are optimistic about the potential for more economic stimulus: After the closing bell Thursday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC that a large Covid relief package is needed to spur continued economic recovery.

"We think it's very important to have a big package [that] addresses the pain this has caused — 15 million Americans behind on their rent, 24 million adults and 12 million children who don't have enough to eat, small businesses failing," Yellen told CNBC's Sara Eisen during a "Closing Bell" interview.

New milestones for bitcoin

Bitcoin reached a new high of $53,000 Friday morning. And Thursday, the first bitcoin product that's officially labeled an ETF debuted on the Toronto stock exchange, Bloomberg reports. Experts have said the U.S. could see its first such product this year.

Investors interested in the volatile crypto market should proceed with caution, however, and only invest a small amount if you have some extra money to play with. In her CNBC interview Thursday, Yellen said she considers bitcoin a "highly speculative asset."

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Gas prices are rising

The national average price for a gallon of gas is $2.60, according to AAA. This is 15 cents higher than a year ago, and more than 20 cents higher than one month ago. If you're looking to save money at the pump, make sure you're mapping out the cheapest gas stations, redeeming cash rewards, and utilizing grocery credit. 

Words you've heard: life expectancy 

Life expectancy is the average number of years a person is expected to live. During the first half of 2020, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped by one year. This is primarily attributed to deaths due to Covid-19. Black and Hispanic Americans saw even larger reductions in life expectancy, losing three and two years, respectively. 

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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