A Week's Worth

For the first time in four months, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost ground in consecutive weeks, dropping 0.7 percent as of Friday's close.

If there's a class of people more unpopular than politicians or used-car salesmen, it may be real estate developers, the Saint Consulting Group reports. Its survey found twice as many Americans oppose new development projects as favor them, especially in the case of big-box stores, power plants, and casinos. Seventy percent of respondents said they support using tax revenues to keep land undeveloped.

As you shop for Christmas, be alert to would-be identity thieves. Nationwide Insurance Co. says opportunities for such theft increase this time of year because people spend more time in stores or with online retailers. It advises: Pay in cash, if possible; shield your credit cards from the prying eyes and camera phones of others; and watch for unscrupulous clerks who might swipe your card through a second scanner to skim off vital personal information.

The Christmas party at your workplace – if there is one – probably will be held next week, an annual survey by executive search firm Battalia Winston International reports. It found 94 percent of employers are planning such get-togethers, up 7 percent from last year.

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