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Another push for stocks...IRS: Nearly $1 billion in unclaimed 2009 refunds

Thursday - 3/14/2013, 3:08pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Encouraging news from the job market pushed the stock market up early today, putting the Standard & Poor's 500 index near its all-time high. The Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq also gained. Analysts say the stock market's surge this year will likely pull more people out of cash and into stocks. The Dow is up around 10 percent so far this year, the S&P 9 percent.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If you didn't bother filing a federal tax return for 2009, it might be a good time to rethink your tax strategy. The Internal Revenue Service says it has $917 million in unclaimed tax refunds from 2009, and time is running out to claim them. The refunds are owed to nearly 1 million people who failed to file returns for 2009. Taxpayers must file their 2009 returns by April 15 to claim their refunds.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.63 percent from 3.52 percent last week. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 2.79 percent, up from 2.76 percent last week. The 30-year rate is at its highest level in seven months but also remains near historic lows. Low mortgage rates have helped support the gradually recovering housing market.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is looking into new evidence that a group of recently approved diabetes drugs can increase the risk of pancreatitis and other problems. The agency said Thursday samples of pancreas tissue taken from a small number of patients showed inflammation and cellular changes that often precede cancer. No conclusions have been drawn yet. The drugs under review include Merck's Januvia and Janumet, Novo Nordisk's Victoza and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Byetta and Bydureon, among others.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Census data suggests a record number of U.S. counties -- more than 1 in 3 -- are now dying off, hit by an aging population and weakened local economies that are spurring young adults to seek jobs and build families elsewhere. New 2012 census estimates released today highlight the population shifts as the U.S. encounters its most sluggish growth levels since the Great Depression. The findings also reflect the increasing economic importance of foreign-born residents.

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