A Week's Worth

Setting records almost by the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 110.30 more points in last week's trading and closed Friday within reach of 12000.

Amid the furor over the big bucks paid to corporate chiefs, a new study has found there's often a trickle-down effect within their companies' ranks. Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers, and Stanford researchers analyzed five years of payroll data from more than 120 companies and concluded that subordinates as many as five rungs down the ladder also tended to be overpaid relative to the market – if only due to the boss's desire to be seen as fair. Still, those subordinates often quit anyway because they didn't view their pay as being high enough compared with his.

The Northeast is not as competitive as it could be in today's global market, according to the latest business tax climate index prepared by the Tax Foundation. It ranks low-tax Wyoming as the most business-friendly state. Only New Hampshire and Delaware, among New England and Middle Atlantic states, made the Top 10. By comparison, Rhode Island (No. 50), New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Maine all were in the bottom 10.

If you have young children, you'll help push spending on Halloween costumes to $1.8 billion this year, the National Retail Federation says. That's on top of the $1.5 billion it projects will be paid for goodies to hand out to trick-or-treaters. The federation doesn't predict how much will be spent on decorating but says 67 percent of consumers, at a minimum, will buy pumpkins. Halloween trails only Christmas as an occasion for decorating the home.

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