FIRST LOOK: Feds probing S&P’s mortgage ratings

Zachary Roth

Welcome to First Look, our daily roundup of early-bird news:

• The Justice Department is probing whether Standard & Poor's improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities during the housing boom, sources say. (The New York Times)

• Just 26 percent of respondents to a new Gallup Poll approve of President Obama's handling of the economy--a new low. (Gallup)

• Federal regulators, worried that Europe's debt crisis could spill over into the U.S. banking system, are said to be upping scrutiny of the U.S. arms of Europe's biggest banks. (The Wall Street Journal)

• The Obama administration proposed regulations requiring health insurers to give customers a summary of policy costs and benefits. (The Washington Post)

• Most Americans say Martin Luther King's dream of racial equality has been achieved, but the races differ on how much remains to be done, a new poll suggests. (USA Today)

• Authorities have charged a 17-year old Florida boy with planning to blow up the high school that had expelled him. (WTSP-Tampa)