Emily Sullivan

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

By law, only you and the U.S. Postal Service are allowed to put things in your mailbox. But what if companies like FedEx and UPS could do it too?

That could happen under a recommendation by the Trump administration.

A White House task force said in December that USPS should "explore franchising the mailbox as a means of generating revenue."

The Postal Service could use the cash.

The partial government shutdown is inflicting far greater damage on the U.S. economy than the Trump administration previously estimated, the White House acknowledged.

President Trump's economists have now doubled projections of how much economic growth is being lost each week.

Updated at 4:46 p.m. ET

After spending much of Friday in positive territory, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 retreated in the final hour of trading and closed down on the day. The losses were small and the Nasdaq managed to hang on to a small gain.

For most of the day it seemed the market would finish higher. At one point, the Dow was up more than 240 points. But it plummeted toward the end of the session and closed down 76 points — that's just over a quarter of 1 percent.

U.S. market volatility continued on Thursday when markets managed to close up after sharp drops throughout the day, just one trading session after a record-setting rally pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average up by more than 1,000 points — its largest single-day point gain ever.

After spending much of the day in steeply negative territory, the Dow and S&P 500 made a comeback.

The Dow closed up nearly 260 points, a little more than 1 percent. The swing from its low point to its closing level was more than 870 points.

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