A Week's Worth: A roundup of economic and business briefs

Record Dow close; employers take workers' retirement funds more seriously; most women want a beautiful life more than beautiful physique.

Better-than-expected economic news across a broad front of industries sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a 2.8 percent gain for the week and another record high.

More and more employers apparently are becoming aggressive at prodding their staffs to invest for a secure retirement. Buck Consultants of Secaucus, N.J., sampled 255 workplaces across a broad range of businesses and found that almost two-thirds plan major changes by next year in the way they "engage" employees in retirement planning. Eighty percent said their employees don't pay close enough attention to retirement needs.

E-mail, it seems, is becoming the equivalent of a cellphone call at dinner. In a survey for Robert Half Management Resources, 86 percent of executives from some of the nation's largest companies reported that their colleagues, when alerted to a new message, commonly interrupt meetings to respond.

Diets, day spas, workout clubs: For all the attention women supposedly pay to them, an overwhelming majority (93 percent) have told pollsters they'd rather live a beautiful life than have a beautiful physique. The survey of 1,000 females aged 18 to 54 for lingerie manufacturer Bali found that for more than three-quarters of respondents, beauty derives from self-acceptance. Which, they said, can come from such factors as doing a good turn for a friend and being able to laugh at oneself.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.