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A Week's Worth

Raising the alert: The stock market fell by more than 1 percent Friday after Alan Greenspan voiced concerns about the ballooning trade deficit. A weakening dollar, which encourages exports and discourages imports, will probably head off a crisis, the Fed chairman said, but more personal saving and smaller budget deficits would help.

Hidden expenses: While mutual funds state annual fees and some of their expenses, their trading costs remain largely under wraps, says Zero Alpha Group. Its study found that investors in equity funds unknowingly pay an extra $17.3 billion in charges. Those hidden charges can exceed stated expense ratios for many funds, especially small-cap funds. Overall, trading costs are seven times as high for actively managed funds as for index funds.

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Midwest values: Do you want low taxes and a pro-business attitude? Try South Dakota or Kansas. South Dakota won top honors in the Tax Foundation's business-tax-climate index. Kansas was named the most economically free state, slightly ahead of Colorado and Virginia, by the Pacific Research Institute. If all states were as free as Kansas, it says, the annual income of an average working American would rise 4.4 percent, or $1,161.

Gobble for less: A traditional Thanksgiving dinner for 10 - including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie, and all the trimmings - will cost $35.68 this year, 60 cents less than last year, says the American Farm Bureau Federation.


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