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Apps to feed your stock market appetite

Stockpile allows users to invest small amounts of

Stockpile allows users to invest small amounts of money, as low as $5, in about 1,000 stocks, with an option to buy even fractional shares. Photo Credit: Stockpile

The stock market surged to all-time highs last year, and many experts predict 2018 will also be a good year. These apps can help you invest in everything from blue chips to bitcoins.

Robinhood

(iOS, Android; free)

This popular and highly regarded app (it was one of Apple’s best apps for 2015), lets you buy and sell stocks without paying brokers’ commissions. It also has all the bells and whistles of any good investing app, including access to real-time stock market data. Like the big investment houses, Robinhood is a member of FINRA and SIPC, so your securities are protected. There’s no minimum balance required.

Coinbase

(iOS, Android; free)

Bitcoin was one of the biggest stories of 2017. The cryptocurrency, which is not controlled by any government, can be used to make secure and anonymous payments. Coinbase is a large exchange where you can buy and sell bitcoins. There is also a large and growing base of merchants you can pay with bitcoins through the app. One caveat: As investments, bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies are highly speculative.

Stockpile

(iOS, Android; free)

Stockpile allows you to invest small amounts of money, even as low as $5, in about 1,000 stocks. You can buy fractional shares, so if you want to invest only $5 in a stock trading at, say, $50, you can. Each trade costs 99 cents. Aimed at primarily new investors, Stockpile includes useful tutorials and guides to stock market investing.

Acorns

(iOS, Android; free)

The app, which gets its name from the proverb “great oaks from little acorns grow,” is also subtitled “invest spare change,” and the goal is to make investing seamless and automatic. With Acorn, you set recurring investments of small sums of money and, assuming the stock market continues to rise, you can watch it grow. The money is invested in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds.

No-wheel drive

General Motors has unveiled the Cruise AV, a fourth-generation self-driving vehicle that the automaker says is built “to operate safely on its own, with no driver.” But don’t think you can get behind the wheel and take the car for a test drive: There is no steering wheel — or gas and brake pedals, for that matter. GM expects to have the car on the road next year. — PETER KING

Lowering the bar

When you’re at a meeting, out with a friend or even in bed with your significant other, do you use your phone to text someone else? You’re not alone. According to Facebook research, 71 percent admit to doing this, a practice so widespread it has a name: sidebarring. The age groups most likely to indulge in sidebarring are millennials (82 percent) and teens (79 percent). — PETER KING

YouTube to flag offensive videos

Google is planning a new push to vet videos that are part of Google Preferred, a set of popular YouTube channels Google sells to advertisers at higher prices. Advertisers and others have complained about the unfiltered and offensive nature of some videos. Google told partners it plans to use 10,000 human moderators and artificial intelligence software to flag videos deemed inappropriate for ads. — Bloomberg News

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