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Nov. 23, 2020, 5:12 p.m. EST

Why the new surge in coronavirus cases could be so damaging to Americans’ finances and 5 items NOT to buy during Black Friday

Monday’s top personal finance stories

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By Elisabeth Buchwald

Turkey Day is on its way... Until then, don’t miss these top stories:

Personal Finance

How to use a Moneyball strategy for college applications and find excellent schools that are undervalued

Look at these three numbers to gauge your chances of actually getting financial aid.

How essential workers with little free time can get their fiscal house in order

To start, there are three things you can do from home with ease.

To get the most college financial aid, you need to plan 2 years ahead

Five things to do now if your child will start college in 2023.

Skip these ‘free’ sources of financial advice — they will cost you dearly

That includes advice from family and friends.

‘Things are getting much worse’ Why the new surge in coronavirus cases could be so damaging to Americans’ finances, on top of their health

More people were having trouble getting enough food on the table in early November compared to five weeks earlier.

It’s 2:30 a.m. in Wyoming: ‘You’re holding a smartphone to let a husband say goodbye to his wife via FaceTime after 60 years of marriage’

Doctors and nurses in North Dakota and Wyoming tell MarketWatch what it's like on the front lines of COVID-19.

COVID-19 spread when 5 million people left Wuhan for Chinese New Year, yet 50 million Americans will still travel for Thanksgiving

‘Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick,’ AAA said. Nearly 257,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus.

5 items NOT to buy during Black Friday

Some Black Friday sales may be available all month long, but that doesn’t mean all deals are worth it.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch

Fossil-fuel apologist or sensible statesman? Responses to Biden’s pick of Kerry for climate envoy

President-elect Joe Biden taps a known entity in John Kerry to take the lead on climate change. But the position, which will coordinate a joint-agency effort and includes for the first time a security role, is new territory.

Biden chooses veteran diplomat Antony Blinken as secretary of state. Here’s why Europe should cheer

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate former State Department official Antony Blinken as his future secretary of state, according to several sources.

What to expect after the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine news

U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca said on Monday that the coronavirus vaccine it is developing with the University of Oxford had shown an average efficacy of 70% in the Phase 3 trials.

Elisabeth Buchwald is a personal finance reporter at MarketWatch. She is based in New York.

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