A Week's Worth

• Eke! The Dow managed a tiny 0.3% gain for the week after mixed economic data. Consumer confidence improved slightly this month, according to the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index. But consumer spending barely budged in February, the Commerce Department said.

• The short goodbye: Instant job cuts may be the coming trend, says Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The global outplacement firm found 3,700 employees who suddenly lost employment in the last two months, including nearly 1,000 workers at an Indiana TV-tube plant told to pack up during their shift. But the number of sudden layoffs is probably much higher because most US businesses have fewer than 100 workers and don't report mass layoffs.

• To get ahead, read! Most successful chief executives - 84 percent - described themselves as voracious readers as children, according to a query of 208 Fortune 1000 CEOs. They weren't the cool kids in school, either. Most, 59 percent, said they were unpopular.

• Six-figure woes? A new firm is addressing the job-search needs of those earning $100,000 or more a year. "The biggest irony in the job market is that the more successful you are, the tougher it is to get solid information about new job opportunities," says the founder of TheLadders.com.

• Laying an egg: Two weeks before Easter, the largest US maker of plastic Easter eggs said it would lay off most of its employees and put itself up for sale. Bleyer Industries blamed foreign competition.

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