A Week's Worth
• Five-digit Dow: The venerable stock index closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time in 18 months. In the interval, investors have been treated to a wild ride, with the Dow dipping to a low of 7,286 on Oct. 9, 2002, before recovering spectacularly in the second half of this year. Investors cheered last week when the Federal Reserve suggested interest rates were unlikely to go up anytime soon. But consumer confidence has soured, according to a new survey by the University of Michigan.
• Rebates revisited: Americans wasted little time using those tax-rebate checks the Bush administration doled out earlier this year. Nearly half used the money to pay off bills, according to the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index. One in 5 spent it on everyday purchases, while 1 in 10 used it for "something they always wanted to buy." There were a few savers: Nearly 1 in 5 parked the money in the bank, but only 1 in 50 invested it.
• It pays to give: Workers who do a lot of favors for colleagues are not only popular but productive, too, according to a study in the current issue of the Academy of Management Journal. The survey of 161 employees at a telecommunications firm found that, contrary to expectations, the more favors workers did, the less likely it was their productivity went down. In other words, when it comes to doing on-the-job favors, don't be afraid to dive in.
• Ho-ho-huh? The amount US Christmas tree farmers raked in last year: $466 million. The value of Christmas tree ornaments and artificial trees from China for the first nine months of this year: nearly $1.1 billion.