Stock Prices, Interest Rates: Hot Trends

'Stock prices,' 'interest rates,' 'Apple Flash,' 'patent applications,' health insurance and 'dental sealants' are the trending topics on Google and Yahoo.
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(Information on the stock market and the uptick in mortgage rates added to the Hot Trends article.)

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- "Stock prices" is a hot search topic on

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

today as

stocks rise

following a better-than-expected decline in initial jobless claims.

Today's Top Rated Stocks from TheStreet

The market remains in positive territory after the Labor Department reported the number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits

dropped 27,000 to 451,000

in the week ended Sept. 4. Economists had expected a drop to 470,000, according to Briefing.com.

"Markets seem to be seeing that the recovery is continuing at a modest pace and are discounting fears of a double-dip recession," said Joe Heider, principal at Rehmann Financial. In addition to positive economic data out during the morning session, Heider also pointed to encouraging comments from Norway's finance minister.

"Interest rates" is a trending topic following the report from Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) showing that mortgage rates held steady this week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 4.35% over the past week, up from last week's 4.32%.

The 15-year fixed rates remained stable at 3.83 and Five-year adjustable rates were up slightly to 3.56% from 3.54%.

>> Mortgage Rates Rise on Jobs, Housing Numbers

"While overall employment was down in August, private non-farm payrolls rose more than the market consensus forecast, and the prior two months' employment figures were revised up. This somewhat sanguine report had a mixed effect on mortgage rates this week, with the 30-year fixed rate nudged up but the 15-year fixed rate unchanged," Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft said. "Pending sales of existing homes rebounded in July, a hopeful sign that existing home sales picked up toward the end of summer."

This is the first week in nearly three months that the 30-year fixed rate went up.

"Apple flash" is a hot search topic after

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

announced that it is working on changes for the applications in its App Store. It plans to lift several software limitations that were put in place earlier this year, possibly including the ban on Flash.

"We are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code,"

Apple said in a statement

. Many speculate that Apple is referring to

Adobe

(ADBE) - Get Report

Flash even though it doesn't mention it specifically.

>>Apple Eases Restrictions; Adobe Surges

The Apple application store has more than 250,000 apps and has had 6.5 billion downloads.

"Patent application" is a popular search topic after reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is making progress in chipping away at its backlog this year.

David Kappos, the agency's director, explained on a conference call yesterday that when he joined the patent office in August 2009 it had a backlog of around 750,000 unprocessed applications. He hopes to have that number down to 700,000 by the end of 2010.

The patent office

introduced an online dashboard

this week that provides its monthly data.

"Health insurance" is a hot search topic on the Internet as Americans look for more insight on the health insurance reform put in place by the

Affordable Care Act

, which President Obama signed into law in March.

A report released by the Medicare's Office of the Actuary showed that health care spending will grow to nearly 20 percent of the economy in 2019.

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Americans currently spend an average of $8,389 a year per person on health care, and that figure is on the rise. The study estimated that in 2019 Americans will spend an average of $13,652 per person on health care, compared with an average of $13,387 that would be spent without the overhaul.

"Dental sealants" is a trending topic today after a report was released in the October issue of

Pediatrics Journal

showing that bisphenol A, or BPA, can be released from dental resins and composite filling materials, which could create health risks in children.

BPA is a synthetic chemical that is often used in the making plastic products. BPA exposure has been linked to health problems including male impotence and birth defects.

The study concluded that exposure is often short-lived and it is still unconfirmed whether it poses a long-term health risk. Dental products that have BPA should still be cleaned and rinsed immediately after being placed to reduce the chance of BPA exposure.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on Google, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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