A week's worth

Ghoulish market: A surge in oil prices above $55 a barrel sent stock prices reeling. The Dow set new lows for the year while the Nasdaq and Standard & Poor's 500 sank to levels not seen since August. One bright spot came from Google, the Internet search-engine company, which wowed investors with its first quarterly earnings report as a public company. By earning 19 cents a share, the company beat Wall Street expectations and saw its share price rise to $172.43 on Friday - double its initial price when the firm went public.

Election-year break: President Bush signed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades. Originally aimed at ending a tax break to US exporters ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization, the legislation grew to include $136 billion in new tax breaks for businesses, farmers, and other groups.

Good fiber: Thanks to federal rulings in their favor, the nation's three largest local phone companies plan to string more fiber-optic cable and bring enhanced Internet and television services to homes. But skeptics doubt that the companies can afford the tens of billions of dollars it would take to replace their copper wires with the much faster fiber cable.

Bye-bye, rush hour: Nearly 4.2 million Americans worked at home in 2000 - a 23 percent increase in home-based workers from 1990 and double the growth in the overall work force during the decade, the Census Bureau reported.

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