AT&T Expands Prepaid Service, Facebook Changes Ad Policy: Market Recap

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U.S. stocks fell in advance of the holiday weekend, as investors weigh uncertainty about U.S. intervention in Syria. Markets were also poorly affected by a report showing that consumer confidence fell in August from a six-year high reached in July. The U.S. stock market will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day.

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Gold: -1.28% to $1,394.80 per ounce Oil: -1.02% to $107.69 per barrel U.S. 10-Year: -0.07 to 2.75%

Will Consumer Spending Drag Down Economic Growth?: Personal income increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1 percent in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Real disposable income increased at a SAAR of 0.2 percent, and personal consumption expenditures — a measure of consumer spending — increased at a SAAR of 0.1 percent… (Read more.)

Planning for Retirement? Social Security Will Cramp Your Style: There’s a lot to be said about the aggregate retirement situation in America right now. According to a report published last year by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Americans are running a collective retirement income deficit — the difference between what people have saved and what they should have saved — of $6.6 trillion… (Read more.)

Hiring the Well-Connected May Pose Problems for U.S. Banks: Descendants of prominent and influential senior communist officials — known as Chinese “princelings” — have significant political clout, possessing the ability to make business dealings run more smoothly for foreign companies. But under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a company is prohibited from a personal benefit or bribe to a decision maker in return for business… (Read more.)

Here’s your cheat sheet to today’s top stocks stories:

AT&T (NYSE:T) is expanding its Aio Wireless prepaid service to become available nationwide in the next month with the hopes of scooping up a bigger share of the no-contract wireless market. “Aio expects the service to roll out in multiple markets across the U.S. over the next year, with an initial launch today in select stores in Houston, Orlando and Tampa, and with additional stores in these three markets opening in the coming weeks,” the AT&T subsidiary said in a statement… (Read more.)

McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) and Burger King (NYSE:BKW) have long come under fire from regulators and safety groups who condemn the way the chains purposely advertise to children, making Ronald McDonald or premium toys the subject of their ads, rather than marketing the food and its nutritional implications. The criticism has led some chains to object, and others to make do-better promises, but now a new study by Plos One, a scientific journal, elucidates that these restaurants’ efforts aren’t coming up short… (Read more.)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investor believes that a $530 Apple stock price is the best that investors can hope for in the next several months. Jeffrey Gundlach, the CEO and chief information officer of DoubleLine Capital, recently told CNBC viewers that “Apple is a dead money stock for quite a while to come, once it settles in around $530,” TheStreet reports… (Read more.)

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users sign-in everyday, but few actually read its fine print. What fine print you ask? That would be the documents that explain the social media site’s terms and conditions, and also warn that all user data is subject to be used for advertising or “Sponsored Stories.” Facebook makes this clear in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Data Use Policy legal documents, but that hasn’t kept critics from charging that the explanations of its practices are purposely ambiguous and still violate user privacy… (Read more.)

The Tech Stock Exchange Taken Out By Faulty Tech: On August 22, trading was halted on the Nasdaq OMX’s (NASDAQ:NDAQ) exchange in what is known in the industry as a “flash freeze.” The incident, which negligibly affected stock prices, served as a reminder to regulators and exchange operators of just how fragile the modern markets are given their dependence on intricate software systems… (Read more.)

Don’t Miss: Take a Look at the Numbers that Are Thrilling Facebook.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS