A Week's Worth
• The biggest tumble in oil prices since December helped propel all three major stock indexes to a rare weekly gain. April traditionally is the month when the Dow does best. Investors were also buoyed by the latest merger: Time Warner and Comcast have joined forces to bid $18 billion for cable giant Adelphia. This week, a slew of corporations begins announcing quarterly earnings, offering new clues about how business is faring under the pressures of rising interest rates, energy prices, and possibly inflation.
• Long-term winners among large managed mutual funds share certain characteristics, says Michael Mauboussin, chief investment strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management. Most of them have far lower turnover than average and have concentrated portfolios, some with as few as 50 stocks. They buy stocks at bargain prices, as opposed to following, say, a momentum strategy, and are not located in New York or Boston.
• Sexiest job? Firefighter, flight attendant, and chief executive (with a median $609,000 salary) took the top three spots, according to a survey by Salary.com, a software company. But some of us in the newsroom were surprised that reporter took fourth place.
• Paying late: Nearly half (47 percent) of consumers surveyed by Visa USA said they'd allowed their household bill payments to slip through the cracks. The No. 1 reason: misplacing the bill.
• Credit cards for teens are on the upswing, says a poll by JA Worldwide and The Allstate Foundation. Better than 1 in 10 have cards in their names. Most cardholders seem to act responsibly: 82 percent say their monthly balance is paid in full.
• Where you live affects your job satisfaction, says a study by Tickle, an online career, networking, and dating assessment company. New Englanders proved the least satisfied: only 46 percent found good camaraderie at their workplace compared with 73 percent nationally; only a quarter said their company had solid leadership, about half the share in other US regions.