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A Week's Worth: Quick takes on the world of work and money

Dow nears a new high; a surge in foreclosures; women warm up to cellphones.

Blue chippers Intel, Alcoa, and General Motors helped to push the Dow Jones Industrial Average ahead by 1.6 percent last week and back to within 37 points of its all-time high.

If you escaped foreclosure on your adjustable-rate home loan in the January-to-March quarter, consider yourself fortunate, the Mortgage Bankers Association says. Foreclosures during the period rose to 3.23 percent, the highest on record. Also a record: the 15.7 percent of payments on subprime mortgages that were 30 or more days late. One consequence: Almost 2 million adjustable-rate mortgages will be ratcheted higher in the coming months, analysts estimate.

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We're constantly advised to save money. But doing so can bring a Catch-22 situation, according to a National Center for Policy Analysis report. Don't save, and there's no money for a rainy day. On the other hand, setting money aside can mean young couples and single parents lose thousands of dollars in federal benefits, it says. That's because most government aid programs are subject to a declaration of assets, which can cost the applicant $2.60 in lost benefits and taxes for every dollar saved.

Women are fast closing the gap in cellphone usage with men, a new survey for AT&T has found. Its pollsters sampled equal numbers of people of both genders and found that men spend an average of 458 minutes a month on their Motorolas and Nokias versus 453 for women. Just two years ago, the difference was 147 minutes.


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