A Week's Worth

Blow your horn! The stock market turned in its first two-year winning streak of the new millennium. While the major indexes rose by single digits in 2004, several smaller information- technology and foreign indexes turned in double-digit performances. Consensus outlook for this year: up, but not spectacularly.

Surge of giving: American corporations have outdone the US government in the first round of donations to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunamis. The initial $35 million pledged by President Bush was matched by Pfizer, which is donating $10 million in cash and $25 million worth of drugs to relief agencies. Coca-Cola ($10 million donated), ExxonMobil ($5 million), and Citigroup ($3 million) also pledged some of the biggest private gifts. Aid groups may see the largest surge in donations since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, some observers suggest.

Gender gap: The difference in pay for working men vs. women, which had been narrowing, appears to have widened. Full-time women made 76 cents for every $1 earned by their male counterparts in the latest salary survey by the National Association for Female Executives. That's down a penny from 2002.

Aargh Dept.: The most overused buzzwords in the workplace include: thinking outside the box, win-win, value added, core competency, and customer-centric, according to a survey of senior executives released by Accountemps, a temporary staffing service.

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