A Week's Worth

Amid reports that inflation is in check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained another 1.8 percent last week. The stock index is now at a level not seen since May 2001.

In another sign that the housing market has lost steam, applications for mortgage loans fell 0.2 percent (on a seasonally adjusted basis) between March 3 and March 10, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. No, that's not much. But look at the decline from the same period a year ago: 20.4 percent. Meanwhile, the average contract interest for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 6.42 percent, its highest since early July 2002.

Owning a small business equates to happiness, according to an annual survey by Intuit Inc., which markets the QuickBooks accounting software. So much so, that the 84 percent of respondents who said they like being their own bosses is up 12 points from a year ago. Asked whether they'd start a business over again if they could, 83 percent said "yes."

As your college graduate applies for that first big job this spring, how pushy should he or she be after submitting a résumé to a prospective employer? The staffing service Robert Half International polled executives from among the 1,000 largest US companies and found that 82 percent advise a candidate to follow up the résumé by contacting hiring managers within two weeks. Only 5 percent discouraged the thought.

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