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THE NEWS WRAP: Associated Press Twitter hack costs markets $US136 billion

Wednesday, 24 April 2013 | By Andrew Sadauskas

The Associated Press Twitter account has been hacked, with a hoax message briefly wiping $US136.5 billion off the S&P 500 during a three-minute plunge.


“Breaking: Two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured,” the hoax message read.


Shortly after the message was sent, spokespeople from both the Associated Press and the White House confirmed that no terrorist attack had taken place and the US President was fine, prompting a recovery in stock prices.


Credit rating warns federal government over long-term deficits


Ratings agency Standard & Poors has warned the federal government it risks losing its AAA credit rating if it fails to show a commitment to ending the budget deficit over the medium term.


“Given Australia's low level of public debt, the government has space for some slippage in achieving its surplus targets given weaker-than-expected revenues,” S&P associate director Craig Michaels said.


“But if we change our assessment that the government will achieve balanced budgets in the medium term, this may exert downward ratings pressure [on the credit rating].”


Clear for takeover: Virgin catches Tiger approval by the toe


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has approved Virgin Australia’s takeover of Tiger Airways.


The competition watchdog acknowledged that blocking the $35 million takeover would most likely result in Tiger’s Singaporean owners pulling the plug on the venture, leading to around 350 job losses, with little benefit to competition.


“There is a silver lining on the grounds that Virgin-Tiger will a better competitor to Jetstar and that will have some benefits [to consumers],” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1% to 14719.5 points. The Aussie dollar is up to US102.66 cents.