Money Matters - Simplified


Placebo effect works even without deception--study

Though placebos have long been a major issue of debate in the serious practice of pharmacology, with some medical experts considering them as just a nuisance variable, there is little doubt that the harmless sugar pills can improve the health of some patients.

The Fool Looks Ahead


The new trading week starts slowly on the earnings front, so let's turn to Monday night, when Paul McCartney takes the stage in New York's legendary Apollo.


Mid-Atlantic manufacturing gains broadly

Philadelphia -- The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region showed widespread improvement in November.

"All of the survey's broad indicators of economic performance showed improvement from their reading in October," the Philadelphia Fed said.

The survey's headline index increased from reading of 1 a month ago to 22.5. The index for new orders rose 15 points, as did the index for shipments. Firms also indicated an improvement in number of employees with 27 percent of respondents indicating employment had increased compared to 14 percent that indicated employment had decreased.

WVU Coach Huggins doing better after fall

Morgantwon, W.Va. -- West Virginia men's basketball Coach Bob Huggins is improving after breaking four ribs in a Las Vegas fall, school officials say.

Mountaineers Sports Information Director Bryan Messerly told Monday's Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail Huggins would likely be discharged "in the next couple of days."

"(Huggins) said he was doing a lot better," Messerly told the newspaper.

Drew Payne, vice chairman of WVU Board of Governors and a friend of Huggins, said the coach's brother Larry told him he coach was in his Las Vegas hotel room Friday night after attending high school basketball tournaments in the city and was preparing to leave when "he tripped on something and fell and hit a table going down."

Home prices up, but unimpressive

New York -- The monthly S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indiexes showed U.S. home prices rose in April over March, but still show modest improvements from a year ago.

Although 18 of 20 tracked cities showed month-to-month price increases in April, the improvements of 3.8 percent from a year ago in the 20-city composite index and 4.6 percent from April 2009 in the 10-city index were nothing to write home about, said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's.

"Many of the gains are modest and somewhat concentrated in California. Moreover, nine of the 20 cities reached new lows at some time since the beginning of this year," he said.