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It's Only Money

By Maxine Shapiro, KERA 90.1 Commentator

Dallas, TX – It's Friday, so "It's Only Money" - our review of the big and not-so-big stories of the week. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

Today will be strictly devoted to the good news of the week. Or so goes my twist on it.

Forth Worth-based Pier 1 Imports reported on Tuesday that their profits skyrocketed 80% from last year. "Why such a huge rise?," you ask. Profit margins and demand for those cute little home furnishings and gifts.

Today Michael Dell, CEO of Austin-based Dell Computers, told Dow Jones Newswire, "I'm feeling very good about our business, and our business is doing well." That from a computer company.

The greenback was up against the euro today. We'll ignore the fact that it was down once again against the yen. Speaking of that well-designed US currency, The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury plan to "introduce new background colors into the next redesign of US greenbacks." They're hoping that this will foil all those evil high-tech counterfeiters. Multiple "subtle" colors will be artistically placed behind the standard green and black. But only on the $20, $50 and $100 dollar bills.

Although I doubt if purple will be one of new background colors, it will be the color of the new M&M. Over 10 million people in over 200 countries voted on the internet, and purple, with 41% of the vote, was number one. I like purple, and I like M&Ms.

And restoring our faith in Wall Street, in the latest Wall Street Journal Investment Dartboard stock-picking competition, the professionals crushed their competitors - four readers of the Journal and four stocks picked by Journal staffers throwing darts at a stock market table. The pros saw an average gain of 5.5%. The Dow was only up 1.2% for that period. Both the darts and readers posted average double-digit declines. Go pros!

For KERA Marketplace Middays, I'm Maxine Shapiro.

Marketplace Midday Reports air on KERA 90.1 Monday - Friday at 1:04 P.M.