Happy Thursday, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories:

Personal Finance
The No. 1 job billionaires and multimillionaires held before they got filthy rich

And why it’s important for all of us to do that job, too.

The average American continues to suffer as cost of living rises faster than wages

Latest findings by PayScale runs counter to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

His wife surprised him with $220,000 in student loans — here’s how they tackled $480,000 in debt

This happily married dad felt like an ‘economic slave’ after financial revelations by his wife. Their first move? An Excel spreadsheet.

The top 3 industries in every U.S. state are arguably the most critical (and underpaid)

Many of the lowest-paid jobs in these areas are dominated by women.

MacKenzie Bezos could be soon worth more than Oprah and the Queen of England

The future ex-wife of Jeff Bezos is set to become the richest woman in history, surpassing Walmart heiress Alice Walton.

Hungry U.S. college students are going without food stamps amid confusion over eligibility

The GAO recommends the federal government does more to make clear which college students are eligible for food stamps.

Want to learn the details of the Bezos split? Maybe look for SEC filings

The ways the Bezos divorce is different.

Where it makes more sense to rent than buy

Nearly two-thirds of Americans live in areas where it is more affordable to rent than buy.

A big problem looms for furloughed workers — preventing damage to their credit scores

The stakes are high for some federal employees during the government shutdown, especially those grappling with loans.

Americans split on Trump’s immigration policy, but less concerned about national security

More than half of U.S. adults said they disapproved of Trump’s actions on immigration in a recent survey.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch
Powell says Fed is ‘watching and waiting’ on interest rates

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday stressed the central bank can be patient and flexible on monetary policy.

Congressional Republicans have a role model in their game of chicken over emergency powers — state Republicans

As the impasse over the government heads to record-setting levels, there’s a game of chicken going on over the prospect of President Donald Trump using emergency powers to fund border-wall construction on the southern border.

Roaring U.S. jobs market, waning inflation give Fed room to pause on interest rates

A gargantuan surge in new jobs in December, a recent lull in inflation and a more cautious Federal Reserve have dispelled fears that the U.S. faces a looming recession.

These 5 factors could stop the stock market’s rally cold

Watch the Federal Reserve and trade talks, of course, but also the junk-bond market.

The sharpest investors use this simple tool to pick stocks

Valuing a public company like a private business gives a more realistic picture of its potential, writes Vitaliy Katsenelson.

FDA has cut back on food inspections because of shutdown

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has dramatically curtailed inspections of domestic food-processing facilities during the partial government shutdown, though it is now trying to resume work at the most high-risk sites.

Get a daily roundup of the top reads in personal finance delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Personal Finance Daily newsletter. Sign up here.