Money Minute: The Rich Get More Abundant; Gene Therapy for Aging?


Not only are the rich getting richer, but there's a lot more of them too.

The exclusive club of ultra wealthy individuals -- those with assets of more than $30 million -- increased by about 5,000 last year. The annual Wealth Report says the world now has 167,000 super-rich people. The U.S., Japan and Germany are home to most of them, but China is catching up. In fact, the report predicts that in 10 years, China will have the second highest number of billionaires.

Rich or poor, we all want to live longer, and Craig Venter is working on a plan to make it happen. He's known as one of the fathers of human genetic mapping, %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%and his new company is gathering genetic and other important data on 40,000 people a year. The aim is to use that data to find the molecular causes of aging, and to treat diseases ranging from cancer and heart attack to Alzheimer's.

Here on Wall Street yesterday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) soared 227 points, the the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 28 -- to a record high -- and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) jumped 74 points. The tech-heavy index is at the highest level in 14 years.

Chevron (CVX) may not have to pay the $9.5 billion fine that a court in Ecuador imposed on the company in 2011. That"s the ruling of a federal judge in New York, who said the Ecuadorian verdict was obtained by "corrupt means." The judge said the American lawyer who brought the environmental case used coercion, bribery and money laundering to win the verdict against Chevron.

Finally, TV binge watching. A Harris survey finds 62 percent of Americans have done it. It can be fun; it can be addictive; and some experts say it could even be harmful, at least in the short term. Watching too much TV can reduce the amount of sleep you get, and many people get to the end of a season and feel, wow, that was a lot of wasted time.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.