A week's worth

Rising home sales and falling oil prices helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a 1.7 percent gain last week. As trading closed Thursday, the index was back to within 1.8 percent of its all-time high.

Even though a will typically is the first document considered in an estate plan, 55 percent of adults in the US don't have one, a new poll has found. And, says the website lawyers.com, that figure rises to 68 percent among African-Americans and to 74 percent among Hispanics. The No. 1 reason cited by respondents: too few assets. Lack of a will means the state will decide how one's assets are distributed.

Guilt is a common feeling among workers who take unplanned absences from work, according to results of a survey by the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. It says 58 percent of women respondents reported feeling stress once back on the job, usually for having left co-workers with more to do. Forty-eight percent of men said the same. The study also found that the higher an employee's salary, the less likely the absence was to be questioned.

When is a gallon of paint much more than that? Answer: when it also causes "angst" in the buyer. The Valspar Corp., a leading manufacturer, reports finding that both men and women rate a painting project in the home on a par with having to make a public speech. Roughly 60 percent of women customers base their choices on color; 58 percent of men care more about durability and price.

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