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A Week's Worth

Rate dip: In good news for home buyers, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 5.98 percent last week, their lowest level in three months. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages edged down to 5.39 percent, according to Freddie Mac's weekly nationwide survey. One-year adjustable rate mortgage rates rose to 4.12 percent, up from 4.02 percent last week.

Human capital: No doubt you consider yourself valuable to your company. New data from an annual survey suggests you're right - revenue per worker increased from $271,803 to $312,738 between 2002 and 2003. Return on investment per $1,000 investment in each worker, increased $60 to $1,480. The data is from annual surveys of 300 companies in several industries by the Saratoga Institute in Santa Clara, Calif.

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Reading e-mail: Nearly half of firms with more than 20,000 workers said they monitor outbound e-mail traffic, according to a recent survey. Why are they so diligent? Three-fourths said the monitoring aims to reduce legal and financial risks from e-mails that leave their offices. The survey was conducted by Proofpoint Inc., a software firm in Cupertino, Calif., and Forrester Research, in Cambridge, Mass.

It's a gas: A study of business buyers found that Americans most want to own gasoline stations followed by convenience stores and auto repair shops. Prices vary, according to the study by BusinessForSale.com. A gas station in Texas goes for as little as $89,000, while a large station/convenience store in Los Angeles runs $4.5 million.