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

itoggle caption Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption Bill Sikes/AP

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

itoggle caption Mario Tama/Getty Images

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

itoggle caption David J. Phillip/AP

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

itoggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR

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

itoggle caption Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

A student works on her robot gladiator. Courtesy of National Tooling and Machining Association hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of National Tooling and Machining Association

The SawStop senses an electrical current in the hot dog. Courtesy of SawStop hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of SawStop

Pumps at a gas station in Laconia, N.H., show higher prices for fuel on Monday. Jim Cole/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Cole/AP

Cybex President Art Hicks says business is up strongly amid demand from overseas. The Medway, Mass., company makes exercise equipment for health clubs. Chris Arnold/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Chris Arnold/NPR