A Week's Worth

Time is running out for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to crack the 11,000 mark by year-end. With a little under two weeks to go and the index seemingly unable to generate any momentum, the Dow closed Friday at 10,875.59. It's the third straight week of marking time since peaking at 10,997.50 early Nov. 28.

Hey, big spender! wouldn't seem to describe the Christmas shopping behavior of teenagers, despite the optimistic projections of retail trade groups. At least, that's what about 60 percent of young people told this year's Junior Achievement Worldwide Interprise Poll. Their gift-buying plans stopped at a little over $75.

Pssst, here's a tip on where savvy investors think will be the best place to put their dollars next year: the energy sector. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed by BetterInvesting, the former National Association of Investors, identified energy as their top choice, followed by real estate, at 16 percent. Worst: the auto industry.

If you had to pass an investor "survival" test, could you? Probably not without professional help, the results of a new survey suggest. Conducted for Securities Investor Protection Corp., it sought to determine who had the skills to build their savings into a retirement nest egg. Eighty-three percent of respondents flunked both sections of the test: one measuring basic knowledge (such as how sales fees work) and the other measuring behavior. (Example: Have you ever read a prospectus?)

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