Irene destroyed much of the two-mile boardwalk in Spring Lake, N.J. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images hide caption

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Near record low mortgage rates are good news for the few who can afford to buy a home or are able to refinance. But the rates have done little to lift the ailing housing market. Bill Sikes/AP hide caption

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Wall Street is in the midst of the biggest stock sell-off since the financial crisis a few years ago. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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This foreclosure property in Houston was for sale in 2009. But many houses are still in the foreclosure pipeline and haven't even come on the market. David J. Phillip/AP hide caption

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Thomas Siwek, director of product safety at Robert Bosch Tool Corp., demonstrates a newly designed guard for table saws at a meeting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Industry officials say the new guards make the saws safe. But consumer advocates disagree and are pushing for flesh-sensing technology such as SawStop, which they say will virtually eliminate the worst table saw injuries. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

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"For Sale" and "For Rent" signs are seen on the front of townhomes in Centreville, Va. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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