A Week's Worth

By , Work & Money editor

The Fed says there's traction - and raised interest rates by one-quarter percentage point. But signs of recovery remain mixed. Excluding demand for transportation equipment, which dragged down the overall number, orders for durable goods rose a solid 2.3 percent last month. But the Index of Leading Indicators fell 0.3 percent in August - the third straight monthly decline - raising doubts about the durability of the current expansion.

Four (and five and six) more years of tax cuts. By hefty margins, Congress extended three popular middle-class breaks, including relief from the so-called marriage penalty (extended four years) and the $1,000-per-child credit (five years). Congress expanded the 10 percent bracket, which reduces taxes for almost everyone, and extended it six years. The win boosted the Bush campaign and even drew support from challenger John Kerry. Dissenters complain the measure adds to soaring deficits.

Election and taxes: If President Bush wins reelection, 55 percent of surveyed voters expect their taxes would stay the same and 36 percent said they would go up, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll. A win by John Kerry would boost taxes, 51 percent say; 38 percent would expect no change.

Recommended: A week's worth of activities for kids to fend off the winter blahs

A penny's worth: A rare 1793 penny, known as the "strawberry leaf," showed up among 200 coins brought to a Maine coin shop. Experts know of only three or four others in existence. The coin, which will be auctioned off after Thanksgiving, could draw six-figure bids.

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