The Dollar Dilemma

A weaker greenback helps manufacturers--but not the stock market. Prepare to defend your portfolio

Americans who vacationed in Europe this summer got to enjoy the benefits of a strong U.S. dollar--better rates on hotel rooms, inexpensive meals and luxury gifts that were cheaper than might have been expected. Well, the vacation is over. The dollar's value has been pounded by the euro and the Japanese yen. After showing signs of recovery earlier in the week, the dollar fell sharply against both currencies last Friday on concerns that a spike in the U.S. jobless rate may hurt consumer confidence. If the dollar's weakness continues, it will not only have an effect on your next trip, it...

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