Money Matters - Simplified


First partial solar eclipse of 2011 visible on Tuesday

If good weather prevails and the skies are clear, millions of people in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia will get to see the first partial solar eclipse of the New Year today, Jan. 4, 2011.

Fox moving 'American Idol' off Tuesdays

New York -- Fox announced it is moving "American Idol" to Wednesday night and then will shift it again to Thursday starting in January.

"Idol" currently airs Tuesday, but the plan calls for the talent contest to air on both Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning in January.

The Hollywood Reporter said Fox's goal is to use "Idol" as a lead-in to its "Human Target" series on Wednesday and at the same time compete with the new CBS series "Live to Dance," which stars Paula Abdul.

Thursday is generally the highest advertising revenue night in U.S. prime time. "Idol" will also give a boost to the new Fox reality series "Million Dollar Drop." The struggling "Fringe" will be moved to Friday, The Hollywood Reporter said.

U.S. markets hammered Tuesday

New York -- U.S. markets plunged Tuesday, following sharp drops in Asia and Europe triggered by fears of slowing growth in China.

Bill Adams, the Conference Board's resident economist in Beijing, said Monday leading economic indicators in China "have been moderating since the middle of last year, suggesting there is no strong basis for assuming accelerating growth."

The Conference Board's report helped spark a sell off in China with the Shanghai composite index down 4.27 percent.

Markets fell more than 1 percent in most of Asia and were off more than 2 percent in most of Europe in midday trading.

'The Carrie Diaries' released Tuesday

New York -- "The Carrie Diaries," Candace Bushnell's young-adult prequel to "Sex and the City," was released Tuesday in the United States, HarperCollins Publishers said.

The book marks Bushnell's teen novel debut and "visits iconic character Carrie Bradshaw during her high school years, giving an inside look at Carrie's friendships, romances and what led her to Manhattan," the publisher said in a news release.

Bushnell is to embark on a tour to support "The Carrie Diaries," starting Tuesday in New York and continuing on to Miami; Atlanta; Nashville; Kansas City, Mo.; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; and San Francisco.

Discovery all set for Aug. 25 launch

Cape Canaveral, Florida, August 21: Following a flight review by NASA officials, the space shuttle Discovery is poised for a spectacular liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:36 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25.