Money Minute: Volatile Trading; 'Heartbleed' Threat Worsens


Volatile trading on Wall Street is ramping up the heated debate between the bulls and bears.

The bears say the market is due -- overdue really -- for a correction of 20 percent or more. The bulls counter by saying the economy is picking up steam and corporate profits remain strong. Investors are caught in the middle.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) tumbled 267 points Thursday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) plunged 129 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 39 points.

It was the Nasdaq's biggest point loss in nearly 2½ years. Since hitting a 14-year high on March 5, the Nasdaq has lost 7 percent. The stocks that had been trendy -- mainly biotech, Internet and smaller technology companies -- have been getting hammered.

%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%The so-called "Heartbleed" bug that has infected many thought-to-be secure websites might even more dangerous than previously thought. Two of the biggest makers of network gear -- Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Juniper Networks (JNPR) -- say some of their equipment has been infected by the bug, but not their big routers and servers. This added wrinkle could make it much harder to stamp out the bug.

Meanwhile, federal regulators are warning the nation's banks that their internal security networks could be exposed to hackers. As you've probably heard by now, we are all supposed to change our passwords right away.

And the Obama administration is encouraging businesses to cooperate with each other and share information about hackers -- without running afoul of antitrust laws. Officials say the increasing threat of cyberattacks requires companies to work together to strengthen their information-technology defenses.

Finally, online gambling in New Jersey has been a flop so far. The state had predicted it would generate $1 billion in revenue by July, but through the end of February, gamblers in the state had bet just $27 million since the sites were launched last November.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.