A Week's Worth
• Not so fast: The improving job market has taken a timeout. The US added only 1,000 nonfarm jobs last month, the Labor Department said, far fewer than the 150,000 economists had expected. The Dow sank 134 points on the news but still managed to close higher for the week - the seventh weekly gain in a row. Gold futures rose to $426.80 an ounce, a 15-year high.
• A certain taint: All those allegations against the mutual-fund industry are starting to take their toll, according to a survey of certified financial planners. Nearly two-thirds of the 418 planners polled said their clients are less confident in mutual funds now.
• Coming home: Thanks to the Pentagon's big push to replace troops in Iraq after a year of service, thousands of National Guard and reserve soldiers in the coming months will be returning home - and to the workplace. Employers should meet with co-workers before their return to discuss ways to ease the transition, experts say. One key: handling potential conflicts with those who might not welcome the soldiers' return or resent the extra work they had to do in their absence.
• Eco-nomic? The Detroit Auto Show opened to the public on Saturday with lots of buzz surrounding Toyota's new Prius hatchback. Does it make economic sense to buy the $19,995 hybrid with great mileage (and a $2,000 tax deduction) when you could get a similar Grand Am for $3,860 less? Not quite: the average married driver would take 11.7 years to make up the difference in fuel and tax savings - two months more than the average car's life span.