CNN Money: Top business headlines for Dec. 27

    11:56 AM, Dec 27, 2013   |    comments
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    NEW YORK (CNN) -- CNN Money's Stacey Delikat has your top business and financial news on this Friday, December 27.

    Arkansas State to open campus in Mexico
    A Feb. 5 groundbreaking is planned for Arkansas State University's new campus in Mexico. The university plans to open a $50 million campus in the state of Queretaro. Officials there approached Arkansas State for help in creating an American-style university where students live on campus as an alternative to the traditional commuter school in Mexico. Classes will be taught in English, and the school will initially offer 15 majors, including electrical engineering, chemistry, world languages, business administration and strategic communications. Project leader Yvonne Unnold says the school estimates that about 30 percent of the students will come from the state of Queretaro, while another 30 percent will come from other states in Mexico. The remainder of the student population will come from Latin America and other countries worldwide.

    Best year ever for stock funds
    As memories of the financial crisis fade, the amount of money flowing into stock funds in 2013 has reached an all-time high. Investors put $346 billion into mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that own stocks this year as of Dec. 23, according to data TrimTabs Investment Research. That's more than the $324 billion investors put into these funds in all of 2000, when the bubble in technology stocks burst, and is the largest annual inflow on record, said TrimTabs chief executive David Santschi. The flood of money into stock mutual funds and ETFs, which are popular with individual investors, comes as stock prices rally to record highs.

    Delta glitch causes ultra-low fares
    Some Delta customers scored a late Christmas present on Thursday. Delta (DAL, Fortune 500) acknowledged that a glitch caused steeply-discounted tickets to be offered online Thursday -- some for as low as $12.83, according to customers. They celebrated their finds on social media, including cross-country flights for $40 and Boston to Honolulu lifts for $68. Cory Watkins, a travel agent in Oklahoma, snagged some of the best bargains he's ever seen -- round-trip, first class from Oklahoma City to St. Louis for $12.83, fares to Anchorage for $87.53, and more. In just under an hour, Watkins spent $1,387.38 for twelve flights for himself and clients for first class trips all over the U.S.

    Bling and baubles win out as holiday's hottest gifts

    It seems as though diamonds were retailers' best friend this holiday season. Jewelry caught the eye of many gift givers this year and was one of the most popular gifts, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which draws from MasterCard's near-real-time purchase data. The report showed that baubles and bling were by far the strongest growth category among shoppers who hit stores between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. Shoppers spent more on jewelry this year than a year earlier. A separate report by comScore, which measures online spending, also found that accessories were one of the top-gaining categories when compared with last year.

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