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Top Ten: Weekend reads: How to make a move in a brutal housing market

With demand for housing in the U.S. still going strong, the prospect of moving may be daunting.

Jacob Passy writes The Big Move column. This week he helps a couple that wants to switch to a home without stairs, but is worried about some tricky aspects of the move.

More on paying for a house: Here’s how much a 40-year mortgage would save you each month vs. a 30-year loan. And the ultimate cost.

The Fed’s big signals may be coming too late

Last month the Federal Reserve began to fight high inflation by reversing two years of monetary stimulus and raising the target range for the federal-funds rate.

The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s March 15-16 meeting point to a more aggressive series of interest-rate increases and a balance-sheet reduction of $95 billion a month, which the bond market has anticipated by sending long-term rates higher.

But Cullen Roche believes the Fed has waited too long to make its move.

Owning bonds as interest rates rise

Bond investments can make a portfolio safer, even when interest rates are rising.

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Interest rates have been rising — the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes has jumped to 2.70% from 1.51% at the end of 2021. When interest rates rise, bond prices fall. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t invest in bonds:

What about stocks?

Rising interest rates can hurt the prices of stocks (especially tech stocks) that trade on high multiples of anticipated earnings. Indeed, the Nasdaq Composite Index has fallen 16% from its closing high on Nov. 19.

Here’s a sampling of stock-market coverage tied to interest rates:

Walmart steps up to help truck drivers

A Walmart distribution center.

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During this period of supply shortages, one consistent theme has been that companies have had difficulty retaining truck drivers. Walmart is not only increasing the size its transportation team, but it is raising pay for its truck drivers to as much as $110,000 during the first year.

How Social Security might be fixed

Social Security taps its trust fund to maintain benefits that aren’t adequately covered by workers’ and employers’ contributions. But that option should run out in 2034. That’s the year by which the system needs to be fixed, through tax increases or benefit cuts (which might include raising eligibility ages).

R. Douglas Arnold explains possible remedies for fixing Social Security and how the Republican Party has avoided the discussion.

Read: Three things to take care of when you retire—your future self will thank you for it

How to think outside the box if you are having difficulty finding people to hire

Don’t automatically exclude job applicants with criminal records.

Successful union votes led by new players

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The above chart shows that profits for U.S. companies relative to the U.S. gross domestic product hit their highest level last year, going back at least to 1947. Kimball Brooker, a portfolio manager at First Eagle Investments in New York said this success came “to a degree, at the expense of labor.”

John Logan explains that the recent successful union votes at an Amazon.com distribution center and a group of Starbucks stores have resulted from unconventional campaigns that may revive the labor movement.

A painful but important subject for families

End-of-life hospice care can help reduce suffering for entire families, but it should not be confused with palliative care, as Yael Schenker, a palliative medician physician explains.

New ways of capturing green energy

Capping canals with solar panels can save water and make better use of space while generating electricity

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Stacy Morford describes five cutting-edge technologies that can foster the clean-energy transition.

Should stock buybacks be targeted by politicians?

Gary N. Smith argues that buybacks are usually good for investors.

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