As the recession eases, companies are cutting fewer jobs. Yet they remain reluctant to hire, leaving potentially millions of people without any financial aid long after their unemployment benefits run out.
Despite recent improvements in the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Tuesday expressed concerns about rising unemployment and foreclosures in the coming months, and reiterated that the central bank would keep interest rates at "exceptionally low levels for an extended period."
Drugmakers Eli Lilly and Pfizer both topped Wall Street expectations for second-quarter earnings and raised their profit outlooks for the full year, while British counterpart GlaxoSmithKline bucked the tough economy with an 11 percent rise in quarterly profit.
As Congress spent much of the last three months looking at ways to tighten regulations on financial institutions, some of the biggest recipients of the government's $700 billion bailout increased their spending on influencing legislators.