A Week's Worth

What new jobs? Employers have grown surprisingly cautious, adding only 32,000 jobs last month. That's far below what economists had expected and follows a revised June gain nearly as paltry: 78,000. Employment and high oil prices remain the black clouds in a mostly brightening economy. Factory orders for June rose 0.7 percent, more than anticipated, and the Institute for Supply Management index for the service sector showed a better-than-expected rise in July. But Wall Street is unimpressed. The Dow has fallen 311 points in its last two trading sessions, reaching new lows for the year.

Deadline nears: Those trusty Series HH savings bonds - which allowed Americans to defer taxes on earnings from other savings bonds for up to 20 years - will be phased out Aug. 31. Since they carry only a 1.5 percent annual interest rate - less than half of what other savings bonds pay - they'll probably attract current savings-bond holders, looking to put off the tax man.

Scandal fallout: In the wake of the mutual-fund trading scandal, 69 percent of large retirement-plan sponsors have taken steps to control market timing, says a new survey by the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets. Another 14 percent plan to take action in the near future.

How much for the White House? Some $106 million, according to HouseValues.com. That sum would buy two-thirds of a Navy destroyer - or cover interest on the national debt for 2 hours, 40 minutes.

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