Roundup: US housing starts / Trillion-dollar company / LSU makeup days 

    Building up: Construction of new houses nationwide surged in December to the highest level in 13 years, capping a year in which falling mortgage rates and a strong labor market helped lift the prospects of the housing industry. The Commerce Department reported this morning that builders started construction on 1.61 million homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in December, up 16.9% from the November pace of homebuilding. Read the full report. 

    Big tech: Alphabet, Google’s parent company, just joined the trillionaire club, USA Today reports. With its stock price closing at an all-time high of $1,450.16 on Thursday, the company’s market value reached $1 trillion. The tech giant is the fourth U.S. company to hit the milestone after Apple, Microsoft and Amazon. Facebook could join the club next as its market value sits at roughly $630 billion. Read the full story. 

    Price to pay: Due to classes being canceled on Jan. 13 and Jan. 14 for the national championship game, LSU is holding two makeup class days on Saturday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 8, to ensure that the spring semester meets the minimum number of required hours, LSU announced today. The days were scheduled so that they wouldn’t interfere with Mardi Gras or spring break.  

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