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Stocks Rise After Big Fall

Bargain hunters helped push the Dow back above 11,000 briefly Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 193 points, or 1.8 percent, to 11,003 in morning trading. On Monday, the Dow had its worst day since 2008. It plunged 634.76 points as fear coursed through global markets. Investors worried about the first-ever downgrade to the U.S. credit rating, the slowing U.S. economy, debt problems in Europe and rising inflation in less-developed countries. Hope that the Federal Reserve may announce more help for the economy in the afternoon also lifted stocks/Stan Choe, AP. More here. (AP photo)

Question: How worried are you about the current Wall Street meltdown?

Paris Hilton Wows Frankfurt

Paris Hilton poses near the bull statue in front of the stock market in Frankfurt, central Germany earlier today. Hilton has come to Frankfurt to promote a drink brand. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Question: I watch Entertainment Tonight to stay up with the entertainment culture. But I simply don't understand the fascination with Paris Hilton or anything Kardashian. Can anyone explain the phenomenon?

401(k)s: A reason to believe?

Lots of people have stopped investment in their retirement accounts lately — or at least shifted their accounts dramatically toward the slow and safe bets.

And we’ve all heard the gloomy estimates about how long it took the market to recover from the Great Depression — until 1954. But a column in today’s Wall Street Journal should give a little hope to those of us who haven’t stopped putting money into stocks through a 401(k) or some other system of “dollar-cost averaging” — investing the same amount each month, no matter what. That means when the market is down, you buy more shares, and when it’s up you get fewer.

Brett Arends argues that investors who used dollar-cost averaging during the Great Depression bounced back within a couple years — a great comfort to those of us who have stuck with the retirement strategy we had before the downturn.

When the market turned, those who stuck quietly to their plan got repaid quickly. Forget that stuff about 1954. According to Ibbotson data, someone who dollar cost averaged was back on level terms by 1933. And by 1936 he had doubled his money (though the crash of 1938 then knocked him back to evens for a while).