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5 Big Stories For the Rest of 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Jobs surged the most in two years as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to a 5-year low earlier in May, while data shows aggregate Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) is poised to surpass the U.S.

Neither of these recent headlines may be the major business stories to watch for the rest of 2014.

The second half of 2014 will not only be a midterm election in key Senate, Congress and gubernatorial races, it may also prove a turning point for many issues that have loomed large over ordinary workers and retirees, corporate C-Suites and the economic priorities of the United States.

This contrasts to recent years, when a few giant business stories set the tone for the year. After a near-default of the U.S. government in 2011 and the creation of a spending sequester, the following year hinged on a decisive presidential election that ultimately caused Congress to avoid similar standoffs in 2013.

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Stock markets surged in 2013, amid improving U.S. economic data, prompting the Federal Reserve to change its tone on its emergency post-crisis easing efforts. A pullback of the Fed's bond buying began in the winter of 2013. Months earlier, the Central Bank's change in tone may have ultimately focused many home-owners and home-buyers on making a move before the Fed began hiking rates.

Housing market activity, unsurprisingly, surged and then tumbled within a span of a few quarters.

In the wake of those major stories of yesteryear, however, lie long-festering issues that will significantly impact the business environment and which may become the focus of lawmakers, voters and corporate C-suites for the remainder or 2014.

Here are TheStreet's 5 Business Stories for the rest of 2014.

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