Some firms, including Morgan Stanley, race to prove they can fund themselves by turning to private investors.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it is getting brighter," says one economist.
As Army bombs the area, militants are digging in and preparing for ground battle.
The administration also ends accounting practices that kept war funding from public scrutiny.
In a $3.5 trillion spending plan released Thursday, the White House proposes $17 billion in cuts – including some items that President Bush also tried to ax.
They are still priced out of the housing market in many cities across the country, a new study concludes.