Monday's Personal Finance stories
As MarketWatch's Amy Hoak notes in her Home Economics column, rates won't go to zero, but they could get mighty close.
Plus, read our TaxWatch column to find out what the new Small Business Jobs and Credit Act means for business owners nationwide. (From a tax perspective, it's good and bad.)
If the 30-year fixed rate gets down into the 3% range, you'd think that would push quite a few more people into the refinancing market, if they have the equity and credit score to swing it. But I guess that's a big "if" these days. The sad fact is that not enough people can afford admittance to the low-mortgage-rate party.
— Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor
If mortgage rates plunged to 0%
What Southwest-AirTran deal means for travelers
New tax breaks for small businesses
Lessons from Morningstar's ETF conference
Don't make these investing mistakes
Imagine financing a home purchase with a no-interest mortgage. You'd probably never want to move again.
Read more on if mortgage rates plunged to 0%.
Airline customers can breathe a sigh of relief — for now — that the so-called Southwest Effect is about to get stronger once the discount carrier closes its $1.4 billion purchase of AirTran Airways.
Read more on what the Southwest-AirTran deal means for travelers.
The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act is about to be signed into law. New high-level, expensive government posts have been created. There's money for Small Business Administration loans and state governments and a few new tax provisions — including the good, the bad and the downright sneaky.
Read more on new tax breaks for small businesses.
U.S. senators said they will delay until after the November elections voting on what to do about the Bush-era tax cuts. But some tax experts say the uncertainty about 2011 tax law shouldn't lull you into delaying your own tax planning.
Read about how Congress delays tax plans, but you shouldn't, in this month's Taxing Times free e-newsletter.
Democrats shouldn't postpone a vote on extending tax cuts for high-income Americans, U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner said Sunday. One Democratic congressional leader contends the issue may be resolved before voters go to the polls in November.
Read more on lawmakers' spar about tax-policy vote timing
Let's clear something up right from the start: It may have four doors, but the Panamera is all Porsche when it comes to power and handling.
Read more about the 2010 Porsche Panamera: Driving big.
If an investment expert says something important, funny or clever in a forum where no one reports it, does it make a sound?
Read more on lessons from the Morningstar ETF conference.
Are you confusing diversification for asset allocation? Forgetting to rebalance? MarketWatch's Andrea Coombes shares some common investing mistakes people make.
Watch video on common investing mistakes.
BB&T Corp. (BBT) , a North Carolina-based regional banking firm, has consistently paid its dividend for more than a century, sports a projected yield of more than 2.5% and has takeover prospects that might help the stock bounce off the lows of its recent trading range.
Read more on this bank stock.
It's another strong merger Monday, and that may be good for investors speculating on targets, but if your company is the one doing the buying, beware.
Read MarketWatch First Take about the risks of Southwest's move
Boring works in this erratic market — and sometimes it's exciting.
Read more about how, in erratic market, boring works
The U.S. stock market is likely to notch its best September in more than half a century in the days ahead, provided its recent surge is not derailed by lingering doubts about the recovery.
Read more on U.S. market looks to best September in decades.
The retail giant has offered to buy South Africa-based Massmart, marking Wal-Mart's (WMT) next step toward world domination.
Read more on Wal-Mart's reach into international markets.
When the world's top bankers, economists and analysts are talked about, one name that quickly rises to the top is that of Dr. Henry Kaufman, an economist and veteran Wall Streeter who has spent decades analyzing global economies for governments, banks and corporate offices. He also has one of the best records around for forecasting the future state of the economies of nations.
Read more on a possible double dip ahead.
The U.S. recession evidently ended two summers ago, but the millions of Americans still out of work don't want to hear it.
Read more on the economy's ongoing troubles.
The financial crisis that reached its most critical phase two years ago with the fall of Lehman Brothers had some big winners — in Asia, Latin America and Scandinavia.
Read more on the biggest losers of the financial crisis.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. announced two bank closures on Friday, brining the U.S. tally this year to 127.
China's Commerce Ministry has decided to increase an antidumping duty on U.S. chicken products, months after the punitive measures were first introduced, in a sign of continuing trade frictions between the two economic superpowers.
China unveiled new rules to prevent land hoarding and to bolster supplies of public housing, according to reports Monday.
Read more on China's tighter rules on land.
President Barack Obama's $50 billion infrastructure plan has drawn interest from European companies hoping to export their expertise, the top European Commission transport official said Monday.
Read more on European interest in Obama's infrastructure plan.
A genetically modified fish is creating a big debate about how much we should or shouldn't alter nature. It's too late; nature is man-made.
Read more on our genetically modified dinner table