A Week's Worth

Back on board: The Dow climbed above 10,000 for the first time in two weeks, due in part to signs that inflation remains tame. Consumer prices fell last month for the first time in eight months.

New overtime rules, which take effect Monday, will lift the economy, says John Challenger, head of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. By raising the salary threshold for overtime, the rules will give more pay to cooks, teacher assistants, and others who work extra hours. The income surge will boost spending, he says. Critics argue many more workers - 6 million, by one estimate - will lose overtime pay as businesses reclassify them.

When investment banks talk, don't listen. That's the advice of university researchers in Michigan and California. Their study found that between 1996 and mid-2003, buy recommendations from independent research firms outperformed those from investment banks by a huge 8 percentage points a year. Investment banks market new issues of stock to investors.

Would you take less pay for a better life? Americans would take 15 percent less for a better work-life balance, according to a survey of 2,000 people by Tickle Inc., an online career, networking, and dating assessment company in San Francisco. About half the group would take a 5 percent cut for better benefits - or a more flexible work schedule. One in 17 would also accept the same salary reduction if they could bring their pets to work.

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