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Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

Motley Fool

April 25, 2004

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Last week's answer

Founded as a screw products company in Michigan in 1929 by an Armenian immigrant, today I'm one of the world's largest manufacturers of brand-name consumer products for the home and family. I make cabinets, spas, windows, paints and ventilation equipment, among many other things, and I'm a world-leading maker of plumbing products. My brands include KraftMaid, Merillat, Peerless, Mill's Pride, Delta, Brass Craft, Hot Spring, Mariani, Behr, Kilz, Bath Unlimited, Brainerd, Franklin Brass and Newport Brass. I introduced a single-handle washerless faucet in 1954. More than 20 percent of my sales are through Home Depot. Who am I?

(Answer: Masco)

Know the answer to this week's question? Send it to us with Foolish Trivia on the top and you'll be entered into a drawing for a nifty prize! The address is Motley Fool, Box 19529, Alexandria, Va. 22320-0529. Send questions for Ask the Fool, Dumbest (or Smartest) Investments (up to 100 words), and your Trivia entries to Fool@fool.com.

Indexes galore

What other stock indexes exist, besides the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500? -- P.R., Elyria, Ohio

Here are just a few of the many that exist. The most famous index is the Dow Jones industrial average, which includes 30 flagship American giants, such as ExxonMobil, Wal-Mart, Merck, Coca-Cola and Pfizer. The S&P 500 also focuses on large companies, including 500 of America's leading companies.

The Russell 3000 index includes 3,000 of the largest U.S. companies based on market capitalization (current share price multiplied by number of shares outstanding). These 3,000 constitute about 98 percent of the U.S. market's value. For a measure of small-cap companies, look to the Russell 2000. It's composed of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000. The Wilshire 5000 is just about the broadest index of American companies. It began with 5,000 but now contains more than 7,000.

Some other indexes are for international regions such as Latin America or the Far East. Others address sectors such as utilities, semiconductors and the Internet.

Where online can I find the highest interest rates available for certificates of deposit? -- L.S., Aspen, Co.

Click over to www.bankrate.com and you'll find, among other things, some of the best interest rate deals for CDs. Last time we checked, you could earn 3.01 percent (in annual percentage yield) on a 2.5-year CD from Capital One FSB in McLean, Va. You don't have to live in the state or city where you invest in a CD. So don't think you're stuck accepting your neighborhood bank's 1.75 percent deal. A little research could pay off. For more guidance, visit www.fool.com/savings.

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