• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Dow dropped on Thursday, setting the stage for its worst losing streak since November as investors remain cautious ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration.The Dow slid 72.32 (-0.37 percent) to finish at 19,732.40.The Nasdaq gave up 15.57 (-0.28 percent) to close at 5,540.08, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,263.69, down 8.20 (-0.36 percent) from its open.Crude oil prices gained under 1 percent, hitting just over $52 a barrel.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary, began his Senate confirmation hearing by defending his role in the thousands of foreclosures by Independent National Mortgage Corporation, also referred to as "IndyMac.""In the press, it has been said that I ran a ‘foreclosure machine,’” Mnuchin told the Senate Finance Committee.He insisted that he made efforts to keep people in their homes by providing 100,000 loan modifications.“I felt great empathy for the thousands of Americans who lost their home because of a system that failed them,” Mnuchin stated.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Meet Tim Ferriss, who's known as the "four-hour guy"It all started in 2007 with his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, which landed the No. 1 spot on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best-seller lists. It stayed consecutively on the New York Times best-seller list for more than four years and has been translated into 35 languages, with nearly two million copies sold worldwide. His other books, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef and Tools of Titans have also sold millions of copies.He’s been described as “this generation’s self-help guru” by The New Yorker and the “Oprah of Audio” for his podcast, which has more than 80 million downloads. There is even a publicly recognized “Tim Ferriss effect,” first cited in a 2012 Forbes profile, that notes how a mention on his blog or podcast will incur tens of thousands more sales for a product than any typical media promotion.He’s also an angel investor whose portfolio boasts companies like Uber, Facebook, Twitter and many more.So how does someone famous for giving advice to others make his own decisions?During an interview on "Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis," Ferriss told ABC’s Chief Business, Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis how he methodically breaks down large decisions using a simple, three-column system.“I just take a piece of paper and I put what I’m considering doing,” Ferriss said. “And you write down all of the worst things that could happen in the left-hand side, just bullets. In the middle for each of those bullets, what you can do to mitigate or minimize the likelihood of them happening. And then the very last column for each, what you can do to get back to where you are now.”The first two columns are a straightforward breakdown of theoretical "worst-case-scenarios" and their possible preventions or solutions. But the third column is noteworthy because it can provide comfort by showing that even if you fail, you can still land right back where you started.“We very often look at the risks of action or the potential downside of action, and that’s the only analysis we do,” said Ferriss. “But it’s really important to look at the costs of inaction. So OK, let’s say you don’t do this thing, let’s telescope out six months, a year, three years. What does your life look like? Is it better or worse?”Ferriss used this exact method in 2004 when he decided to book a one-way ticket to Europe after having what he called a “complete meltdown.” Fast-forward more than a decade later, and it appears to still be working for him.“I still do [it] very often,” he said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims slumped last week, decreasing by 15,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.For the week ending Jan. 14, the number of people filing for benefits fell from a revised level of 249,000 the previous week to 234,000.The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.The four-week moving average decreased by 10,250 to 246,750.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The owner of a gift store across from the White House has been selling presidential merchandise since the '80s and has his own way of predicting who will win the election every four years -- button sales.“Since 1988, I’ve been predicting who would win based on button sales that year," White House Gifts store owner Jim Warlick said. "We predicted it right every time except for Gore in 2000. And this time we got it wrong.”The gift shop staff had planned “to turn the store into the Hillary inauguration location," Warlick said. "We had no Trump inaugural [items] and we had no vendors that had anything."Warlick says it took a few days to stock up on goods related to President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, but now the store shelves are full.Before election day, the most popular campaign items for sale at White House Gifts featured each candidate's slogan.“The best-selling [Trump] item during the campaign was the red hat, ‘Make America Great Again.’ And then the ‘Stronger Together’ Hillary items were big sellers for her,” he said.But the candidate whose merchandise flew off the shelves more than any other's didn't make it past the Democratic primary. “Bernie [Sanders] items sold better all year than Trump or Hillary,” Warwick said.As the shop gears up for Trump’s inauguration, Warlick is cognizant of the fact that his customers will be a mix of supporters and protesters of the incoming administration. He says they have merchandise for sale that caters to both groups.Warlick estimates he has sold over 10 million pieces of political memorabilia over more than three decades. He first began selling inaugural merchandise in 1980 when President Ronald Reagan took office. He says sales of inauguration memorabilia really picked up during Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993.But, according to Warlick, no president to date can compete with the excitement surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009.That inaugural, which drew an estimated 1.8 million people, “was unlike any other,” Warlick said. “There were so many people here, the store was packed; they were down the street and around the corner. Anything with Obama’s face on it would sell.”And he soon realized the president was not the only Obama in high demand. His customers started asking for items with the first lady's image, too."They liked Michelle better than they liked the president,” Warlick said.The popularity of Obama merchandise has continued over his two terms, so the store has created a “legacy line” of items that they plan to offer through the spring.Learn more about Jim Warlick and the next chapter for the White House Gifts store in the video below.
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  • EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Critics are gearing up for a confirmation fight Thursday over Steven Mnuchin -- Donald Trump’s pick for treasury secretary -- who previously ran a bank that has faced criticism over its foreclosure record.Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs veteran and former Hollywood producer, and a group of investors bought up the remains of the failed IndyMac Bank in 2009, renaming it OneWest Bank, during the financial crisis.Although he rebuilt the bank into a thriving operation, Mnuchin's bank has been accused by housing advocates of seeking to kick people out of their homes quickly and discriminating against minorities.Senate Democrats who oppose his nomination have been soliciting personal stories from people who say they were victimized by OneWest’s practices ahead of Mnuchin’s hearing.California-based IndyMac Federal Bank, which was a leading subprime lender, failed in July 2008 and control was transferred to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.Mnuchin led a group of investors and bought most of the bank’s assets at an auction held by the FDIC for about $1.3 billion in cash. The FDIC agreed to cover almost all the loan losses from soured mortgages and the lender was renamed OneWest, which soon became profitable again.By August 2015, Mnuchin and his partners sold the bank for around $3.4 billion in cash and stock to CIT Group Inc.Since the FDIC, which supervises banks, agreed to absorb the costs on the majority of the losses on the bad loans, some have questioned whether Mnuchin made money off the housing calamity, which devastated many communities, including in California.During Mnuchin’s time overseeing OneWest, the bank carried out 36,000 foreclosures in California, according to the California Reinvestment Coalition, an advocacy group.The CRC based its information on data collected by PropertyRadar, a company which specializes in foreclosure data, and analysis from the Urban Strategies Council, an Oakland-based activist group.The CRC also claims, based on analysis from a freedom of information request to the FDIC, that the bank had completed enough foreclosures as of 2014 to garner some $1 billion in loss share payments from the FDIC, relating to losses concerning IndyMac and another bank it had partially aquired."Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination and his track record... make[s] it clear, the fox has been nominated to guard the henhouse," said Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition.The California Reinvestment Coalition, along with another advocacy group called Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California, filed a federal discrimination complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development against OneWest in mid-November, more than a week and a half before Mnuchin was announced as Trump’s Treasury pick.The complaint alleges that OneWest violated the Fair Housing Act by allegedly failing to open branches near communities of color and offering few mortgage loans to minority applicants. The complaint cites instances of alleged violations as early as 2011 but the investigation that prompted the debate started in April 2014 and carried through 2016. No bank officials -- including Mnuchin -- are specifically named in the complaint but he did not sell the bank until August 2015 so the issues would have allegedly taken place partially during his tenure.Sean Coffey, the communications manager for the CRC, told ABC News that they have not yet heard if HUD has accepted the complaint.When a spokesman for CIT Group, which now owns OneWest, was asked to comment on the allegations made by the CRC and on the status of the complaint, he responded with the following statement.“CIT completed the acquisition of OneWest Bank in August 2015. Since that time, CIT has and continues to remain committed to meeting the credit and banking needs of borrowers in our communities,” Matt Klein, director of communications and
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