Shoppers carry bags during Black Friday sales at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass. Right now, consumers are feeling positive, but the mood among businesses is at recession levels. Allison Joyce/Getty Images hide caption

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Home Depot has long offered credit cards, partly to serve customers who have just suffered major house damage. The company has recently widened those efforts. Here, a Tampa, Fla., customer buys a generator and bottled water, preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac's arrival in August. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Ireland-based Intrade lets users bet money on all manner of predictions — like if a particular film will win an Oscar. The site is ceasing operations in the U.S. NPR/Intrade screen grab hide caption

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Millions of U.S. families have a recent foreclosure on their record. Typically, that means waiting at least seven years before securing another home loan. But some families say they are having luck buying again — sometimes in as few as three years. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Last year, Congress passed legislation that — among other things — gave employers tax credits for hiring vets. Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP hide caption

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This aerial photo shows destruction in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in Seaside Heights, N.J. Mike Groll/AP hide caption

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