A week's worth

A combination of disappointing Internet company earnings and another round of interest-rate hikes by the Fed was blamed for last week's drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It closed Friday at 10,793.62 - 1 percent lower than the previous week.

The fastest-growing group of one-person businesses across the US is owned by women, and it's making more money than those in the category in general, according to a report by the Center for Women's Business Research. Based on data from 1997 to 2004, it says 53 percent of self-employed women are in the service sector. Only 14 percent are retailers.

Opposites attract, but if a relationship is to be long-lasting, the attraction had better be backed up by a good credit record and a steady job, the results of a new survey confirm. The online credit-score service of Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corp. polled 1,022 people and found that 76 percent would advise a friend to check into the finances of the object of his or her affection early on. By a wide margin, women rated credit history more critical than did men.

Before volunteering to give up your seat on an overbooked flight, the newsletter Travel Smart suggests you ask the gate agent: Do I get a guaranteed seat in return, or just a discount voucher? What limits will there be on my new ticket? While I wait, may I use your first-class lounge? Will you pay for my lunch? Oh, and what happens to my checked luggage?

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