Surging Stocks, Striking Teachers and Besieged Embassies

Laura Shin
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The anniversary week of 9/11 was a time of highs and lows.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced plans to stimulate the economy. It will buy mortgage-backed securities, extend low interest rates through mid-2015 and consider other actions until unemployment drops.  While the plans were widely anticipated, excited investors pushed up Wall Street based on the news.

Another announcement pushed up stocks—this time, Apple’s stock. On Wednesday, the company unveiled a slimmed-down iPhone 5 with a larger screen. And the Treasury Department announced a sale of $18 billion worth of AIG stock, making it a minority owner of the insurer for the first time since the controversial bailout in 2008. Though the announcement initially pushed down AIG stock, it had recovered by Thursday.

Meanwhile, a teachers’ strike affecting 350,000 Chicago schoolchildren caused parents there to spend the week scrambling to find babysitters or make arrangements to bring their children to work. On Thursday, the head of the teachers’ union expressed hope a deal could be struck in time to bring children back to school on Monday.

In the Middle East there were protests of a different kind: The U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack there, and after an American video denigrating the prophet Mohammed went viral, protesters in Yemen, Cairo and Iran attacked American embassies (or, in Iran, the Swiss embassy, which handles American diplomatic issues there).

This week, we bring you two stories: One about how variable pricing could change how you pay for everything from a new TV, to dinners out, to toilet paper, and another about how yoga and meditation are remaking corporate America, one “ohm” at a time.

The Pricing Revolution Coming to Restaurants … and Toilet Paper?

Variable pricing means you can catch a bargain or be charged hundreds more on service and goods, just because of timing. Find out how to avoid getting price-gouged.

How Yoga and Meditation at Work Are Boosting the Corporate Bottom Line

Eastern practices like meditation are becoming more common at companies as American as General Mills and Target. Find out why and how you can benefit.

Photo: Protesters in the Chicago teachers’ strike. (Br5ad/Flickr)