Dollars & Sense

U.S. dollar higher; gold, silver rise, too

The U.S. dollar was mostly higher against other major currencies in European trading Friday morning. Gold rose. The euro traded at $1.4699, down from $1.4760 late Thursday in New York. Gold traded in London at $921.25 per troy ounce, up from $906.25 late Thursday. In Zurich, gold traded at $921.70 bid per troy ounce, up from $902.05. Silver opened in London at $16.42, up from $16.23.

Stock market takes a step back Friday

Wall Street ended a tumultuous week with a sharp decline Friday, backtracking following two days of stunning gains as investors turned cautious and cashed in some of their winnings. The Dow Jones industrial average still managed to record its first weekly advance of 2008, even as it fell more than 170 points on the day. The week, which started with a 465-point drop in the Dow soon after the market opened Tuesday, showed that the stock market is still fractious but may be going through a healthy process of trying to establish a bottom following weeks of sharp declines.

Fraud staggering

The rogue futures trader who allegedly cost French bank Societe Generale $7.14 billion had been betting on an even larger scale, with tens of billions in fraudulent deals, the bank said Friday. France's No. 2 bank apologized to shareholders after discovering what appears to be the largest trading fraud in history to be carried out by a single person. The news Thursday rattled an already jittery banking sector at a time of global economic uncertainty. A bank official said Friday that 31-year-old trader Jerome Kerviel's positions had reached "several tens of billions of euros" -- a staggering sum for a bank with a market capitalization of 35.9 billion euros $52.6 billion).

Coming Sunday

Consumer Reports calculates the price tag for 12 of the biggest personal financial mistakes consumers make.

Setting It Straight

According to the California Penal Code, Section 653, people who tattoo or offer to tattoo a person under the age of 18 are guilty of a misdemeanor. There is no provision for parental consent or presence of a parent. Incorrect information appeared Thursday on Page D-1.