A Week's Worth

Yet another hint that the Federal Reserve finally may be ready to stop increasing interest rates helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average to gain 1.2 percent last week. This, after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress it's time to be wary of hiking the cost of borrowing too much.

Gen-X women say they understand the importance of saving for the future, but that doesn't mean they follow through. Or so reports OppenheimerFunds, based on a recent survey. More than two-thirds of those asked said they live paycheck to paycheck. Almost as many had no investments. Forty percent carried $5,000 or more in credit card debt.

It would be ideal, more than half of working Americans appear to believe, to carry out at least some of their responsibilities from home. Fifty-nine percent of respondents to a new survey by staffing specialist Hudson Highland Group said they wanted to telecommute part time or that working from home is "the best." And 73 percent reported accomplishing little or no work during their commute.

One week it's over $3 a gallon. The next, gasoline averages a few pennies less. Either way, it now costs enough that Americans are adjusting their lives to compensate, Manpower Inc. reports. How? By cutting back what they spend on entertainment and hobbies, by dining out less, and by limiting their kids' extracurricular activities. Manpower polled 900 people on the matter in the spring.

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