A Week's Worth

Election week had a positive effect on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which rose 122.39 points as of Friday's close, with investors perhaps hoping that the political shift would produce gridlock in Congress – and stymie new efforts at regulating business.

That car loan you didn't take out back in September helped to drop consumer borrowing by its largest amount ($1.2 billion) in 14 years, the Federal Reserve reports. Overall borrowing fell, but the decline was greatest in the auto sector. Borrowing did increase in the category that includes credit cards, but by a smaller annual percentage than in August: 4.0, compared with 6.7.

Diversity in the workplace turns out to be more than just a goal of the equal-employment-opportunity forces, says the online recruitment service Monster. Jobseekers seem to value it, too. Monster surveyed 1,859 such people by age, gender, and ethnicity, seeking "commonalities." Almost half of white respondents said the level of diversity in the ranks of a prospective employer is "very important" to them.

In every category related to business, the US is the No. 1 "brand" in the world, a study has found. But if you think of overall national identity as a brand, that distinction goes to ... Australia, according to results obtained by the consultant FutureBrand Inc. Why? Because the Australian mystique has been "collectively harnessed" – largely in the form of the kangaroo. The study looked at a range of opinions from business experts and travelers as well as at relevant statistics.

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