The Bloom Is Off the Boom

The soaring economy has finally landed, and jewelry stores were among the first to touch down. Holiday sales were down when compared with the record sales growth of the past couple of years. And economic indicators show that consumers will remain cautious in the new year. While economists disagree on how rough the coming year will be, they're nearly unanimous in their view that discretionary spending will be down. The indicators provoking this cautionary outlook include: The stock market. In 2000, the NASDAQ turned in its worst performance ever and showed the worst drop of any index since 1931, as the tech-heavy stock exchange fell 39%. The Standard & Poor's 500 had its worst performance since 1977, dropping 10%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its worst year since 1981. The downward trend appears to be continuing into 2001. Confide

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