A Week's Worth

• Trying week: Despite solid gains on Friday, stock markets fell sharply this week. The Dow lost 3.4 percent and posted its biggest one-day loss in 10 months, following terrorist bombings in Spain. The Nasdaq lost 3.1 percent for the week. Consumer sentiment sagged a little, according to a University of Michigan survey. Mortgages provided about the only good news. The average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.41 percent, the lowest level since early July. Overall mortgage delinquencies last quarter dropped to their lowest level since 2000, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

• More jobs ahead... That's the view, anyway, of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. "Job loss continues to diminish," he told the House Education and Workforce Committee. "In all likelihood, employment will begin to increase more quickly before long."

• ...but right now: Some people are going to great lengths to land employment, according to a survey of 1,900 workers by Chicago-based CareerBuilder.com. One woman offered to work two weeks for nothing to prove her value; another invited the owner of the company to a baseball game.

• Minding the books: Some 185 colleges and universities are putting millions of dollars into the hands of undergraduates to invest. That's nearly four times the number of institutions that offered this option in 1995, according to a survey by a University of Dayton economics professor. The idea: Give students hands-on experience with a live portfolio. Investing teams will compete next month at a Dayton conference.

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