A Week's Worth

Despite the Fed's 17th straight increase in interest rates, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended last week up 1.5 percent, which analysts said was attributable to the central bank's own comments that the two-year pattern of hikes is about over.

Roughly two-thirds of black Americans work for employers with traditional pension plans, compared with about half of white employees, a new study has found. Ariel Mutual Funds and Charles Schwab & Co. say 64 percent of blacks have stock market investments compared to 83 percent of whites. By relying mostly on pensions for retirement income, blacks are more vulnerable than whites if those plans were to erode, it argues.

Women aren't just shoppers; they've become "purchasing agents" for their families. That's the view of Michael Silverstein, author of the new book, "Treasure Hunt: Inside the Mind of the New Consumer." His research found that women make 80 percent of consumer goods purchases. As a result, they treat shopping as a serious responsibility and derive emotional pleasure from finding particularly good values.

Grandma and grandpa can play a big role when it comes to the educational expenses of grandchildren, results of an online survey for insurance giant MetLife confirm. The survey, in May, targeted 3,371 grandparents. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they contribute, and 35 percent expected to kick in at least $50,000, covering preschool all the way through college.

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