Friday January 18, 2019
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US stocks fall after two-day rally

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New York: US stocks traded mostly lower in the morning session on Friday, after two-day market rally, as global financial volatility continued to weigh on investors’ sentiment. At midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 68.68 points (0.41 percent), to 16,586.09. The S&P 500 dropped 5.66 points (0.28 percent), to 1,982.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 10. 03 points(0.21 percent), to 4,802.67. Chinese stocks recovered more than 10 percent in two days after a five-day losing streak that wiped out a fifth of the market value.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly before the closing bell in New York August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
www.reuters.com

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 4.82 percent to close at 3,232.35 points on Friday, following a 5.34-percent rebound the previous day. But European trade was cautious on Friday with markets narrowly lower as investors remained cautious. On the economic front, US personal income increased 0.4 percent, and disposable personal income rose 0.5 percent, in July, according to the US Commerce Department on Friday. The same month has also seen the world’s largest economy’s personal consumption expenditures increase 0.3 percent after an upwardly revised 0.3 percent rise in June.

Meanwhile, the final reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index came in at 91.9 for August, well below market estimates. Some analysts said recent data points to a possible interest rate hike this year. The US Commerce Department on Thursday revised its estimate for the real gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter to a growth of 3.7 percent, which is much higher than the 0.6-percent growth in the first quarter and which has triggered a jump in US stocks that day.

(IANS)

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Partial Shutdown of US Delays Space Missions, But NASA Not Grounded

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said

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People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

The partial shutdown of the US federal government has had a serious impact on the country’s space agency NASA and development work on most future space missions has been slowed or suspended.

However, NASA has not been totally grounded by the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, after last-minute negotiations in Congress failed to end a budget standoff.

Over 95 per cent of the space agency’s employees have been furloughed. As a result, various research projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope has been put on hold, the Space.com reported on Wednesday.

Hubble suffered a mechanical problem that only furloughed NASA employees could repair.

Many workers also gathered outside the Johnson Space Center in Houston to protest the shutdown and its deleterious effects on their lives and the nation’s space programmes.

The Telescope facilities that have so far remained open during the shutdown will soon run out of money and cease operations.

This includes the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a federally funded organization that operates the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the Green Bank Telescope and the Very Large Array (VLA), the report noted.

The partial shutdown become the longest on record after January 12, overtaking the previous record of the 21-day impasse in 1995-96 under then President Bill Clinton.

NASA, tissue
US shutdown delays space missions but NASA not grounded: Report,

President Donald Trump and the Congress have been at loggerheads over his demand to include in the budget $5.7 billion funding for building a border wall along the Mexico border. Democratic leaders have rejected his call.

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), also called the “flying telescope” has also ceased operations since the shutdown.

The telescope, which is mounted to the fuselage of a Boeing 747 aircraft, has not flown since the shutdown began, the report said.

However, despite the shutdown some “excepted” employees remained at work, assisting astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and other space missions, the report said.

Also Read- National Clean Air Programme Should Set Higher Targets

Last week, astronauts aboard the ISS conducted a range of scientific experiments and public-outreach work. They engaged in an orbital Q&A with school kids and answered a variety of questions, from the nature of the research performed aboard the ISS to the type of training astronauts receive to whether your ears pop in space.

On January 13, a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule departed the orbiting lab for Earth, eventually splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The robotic Dragon brought down important scientific research and hardware for examination here on terra firma.

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said.  (IANS)