A Week's Worth

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.5 percent last week, due, in part, to disappointing earnings reports by Wal-Mart and the 3M Co., which suggest that US economic growth may be slowing. Another factor: investor concern over North Korea's missile launches, analysts said.

Who says the bottom has dropped out of the real estate market? Not the Mortgage Bankers Association, which says its loan application index for the week ending June 30 was almost 6 percent higher than the week before. The seasonally adjusted four-week index also rose 1.2 percent.

It's easier to find another job when you already have one than when you're unemployed. Or so goes the old axiom. Using that logic, almost 1 employee in 5 plans to take advantage of the tight labor market for a change of scene over the next six months, the online job site CareerBuilder.com reports. Its research also found that 57 percent of employed persons aren't looking for new positions but would be open to them, given the right opportunities.

When you asked the boss for time off this summer, did you realize that's exactly what he or she hoped you'd do? No? Well, it is, according to Accountemps, a leading specialized staffing service. It polled senior executives of the nation's 1,000 largest companies and says 36 percent of respondents rated August the best month for staff vacations. July came in second, at 21 percent.

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