NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Maribel Aber has your top business and financial news on this Friday, September 20.
Stocks pause after Fed-fueled record run
Investors seemed a bit hung over Thursday as stocks were mixed a day after the Federal Reserve's surprise decision to keep its stimulus in place lifted two key market indexes to all-time highs.
The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 fell a bit, while the Nasdaq ended only slightly higher. Earlier, a modest bump in the S&P 500 was enough to push it to another record high.
Government shutdown gears in motion
Experts agree: A federal government shutdown would be a dumb way to go. Yet the risk of a shutdown on Oct. 1 is now a distinct possibility. And federal agencies have been instructed to make plans for one just in case. The House on Friday will vote on a short-term government funding bill that will include a provision to defund Obamacare. That provision is a no-go for Senate Democrats and President Obama. If they can't work out a compromise, many functions of the federal government will be shut down indefinitely on Oct. 1.
Are we still heading toward 5% mortgages?
Prospective buyers who have been shying away from the housing market due to rising rates may have reason to start shopping again. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve surprised market watchers when it announced that it would not start tapering its purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds. Mortgage rates have risen significantly amid concerns that the Fed would cut back on its $85 billion a month bond-buying program. Rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage are currently averaging about 4.5%, up from 3.35% in early May. That rate increase has meant an extra $132 a month in payments for a homebuyer with a $200,000 30-year loan.
More Americans feel graduates unprepared after college
College students settling in for the year may not graduate feeling as ready for the workforce as they expected. Although a majority of Americans believe a college degree is the most important factor in career success, they're increasingly skeptical schools are doing a good enough job to prepare students, a new study conducted for Northeastern University found. According to the study, 62% of the people surveyed rated colleges' efforts to prepare graduates for the economy as "poor" or "fair." Half said the quality of preparation had declined over the last 10 to 15 years, and nearly as many said colleges aren't in tune with today's job market.