A Week's Worth

Shaking off 9/11: Despite the latest quarter-point rise in interest rates, the stock market posted gains for the third week in a row. The S&P 500 reached 1184 - where it stood before the 2001 terrorist attacks. The Dow and the Nasdaq are within striking distance of their 9/11 marks, but still need to gain 200 and 70 points, respectively.

After the White House, create a socially responsible investing firm. Former Vice President Al Gore has joined a former Goldman Sachs executive to form Generation Investment Management. The firm aims to buy socially and environmentally responsible companies.

Car fixed, portfolio broke: Americans are twice as likely to say they're very good at home or auto maintenance than managing their investments. And nearly a third have no financial plan at all, according to a survey of 1,000 investors by Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. Their most common mistake: waiting too long to invest.

Cheap holiday cheer: Increasing optimism in the economy isn't boosting this year's office party plans. Nearly a quarter of employers are cutting their holiday party budget, some by up to 20 percent; only 11 percent are increasing it, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global outplacement firm.

Celebrity entrepreneurs: The most successful is former basketball star Magic Johnson, with an empire worth some $700 million, followed by hip-hop's Sean Combs and actor Paul Newman, Inc. magazine says.

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