Chaotic markets have left investors scrambling for ways to boost returns without taking on excessive risk. But there's a simple strategy that can make a virtue out of market volatility: Build a portfolio around high-quality stocks with generous dividend yields to offer a cushion against market swings, and juice even more income from those stocks through the strategic use of options.
A few men are down on their hands and knees at the 9/11 memorial plaza in Lower Manhattan, laying sod around some of the trees. Fortunately, Hurricane Irene didn't damage any of the trees on the site. The reflecting pools made it through the storm unscathed, too. They're going through some final tests before the memorial opens Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Wall Street investors cheered a flurry of upbeat corporate earnings Thursday, briefly sending the Dow above 14,000 while they awaited the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting and closely monitored testimony by central bank chief Ben Bernanke.
Bonds tumbled Friday, lifting the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to just a shade below the key 5 percent level, as investors bet the Federal Reserve would keep hiking interest rates longer than previously thought.
Treasury prices retreated from early gains, ending slightly higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve's "beige book" report showed prices increases, despite promises to fight inflation by officials at the central bank.
When bond yields compete with Martha Stewart and Bernie Ebbers for headlines, they usually lose. But recently they've gotten attention by behaving in a way that has sparked fears of a big economic slowdown.
Bonds moved higher Wednesday as a fresh spike in crude renewed fears that high energy prices could weigh on economic growth and the market shrugged off a report that showed stronger-than-expected growth in the services sector.
On September 11, 2001, a fireball engulfed Lauren Manning as she arrived to work at the Twin Towers. Now, after suffering burns to more than 80 percent of her body, and being given a 10 percent chance of survival, Manning is nearing the end of physical therapy and savoring every moment of a life nearly lost.