The government says the number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for jobless benefits dropped last week, and the number of people remaining on the rolls also fell, evidence that layoffs have eased.
From afar, Nathan Carnahan has monitored the health-care debate unfolding in Washington. He confesses uncertainty about how it will play out, and fears government mandates could add to his firm's cost of doing business.
The tantalizing climb in the stock market has made hedge fund and mutual fund managers increasingly courageous, but millions of investors with 401(k) accounts remain reluctant to trust what burned them.
Wall Street may have discovered a way out from under the bad debt and risky mortgages that have clogged the financial markets. The would-be solution probably sounds familiar: It's a lot like what got banks in trouble in the first place.