High rates for credit cards
While interest rates on mortgages and other debt have declined to new lows, credit card rates have spiked to their highest level since 2001, with an average interest rate of 14.7 percent.
The Wall Street Journal
Early withdrawals at Fidelity
Some 62,000 participants in 401(k) plans administered by Fidelity Investments made early withdrawals from their accounts in 2009, compared with 45,000 in 2008. Most withdrawals and loans were made to avoid foreclosure or eviction, pay college tuition, or buy a house.
Good times for the Vice Fund
The wages of sin are powering one of this year’s top-performing mutual funds. The aptly named Vice Fund, which invests in tobacco, alcohol, gaming, and defense stocks, is up 4.5 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 is down 1.9 percent.
Ad sales up for cable-TV networks
Leading cable-TV networks are enjoying a strong rebound in ad sales, as free-spending automotive and financial advertisers return to the airwaves. Turner Broadcasting’s TNT and TBS networks and NBC Universal’s USA and Discovery networks have sold between 93 percent and 99 percent of their inventory of ad slots.
New York Post
A new option for coach passengers
American Airlines will charge passengers $19 to $39 for first dibs on the forward rows in coach. Through the Express Seats program, coach passengers can pay to move to the front of the “General Boarding” line and claim prime seating and overhead storage space.