Originally created 01/02/00

Pocket change



MARKET WRAP:

Inside today's Business section is our annual market review. Readers will find 52-week highs and lows for many stocks, as well as ranking of mutual funds.

TAPERING TURNOVER:

Employee loyalty is back. A sharp rise in productivity in the 1990s has coincided with a 50 percent increase in employee tenure and a 254 percent increase in employees working for just one company during their careers, according to a survey by the Challenger, Gray & Christmas job placement company. "While it is unlikely that we will ever return to the day when employees spend their entire career at one company ... we are certainly moving away from the constant job-switching," Chief Executive Officer John A. Challenger says.

HARES HAVE IT:

When it comes to online businesses, it's "not how the big eat the small but how the fast eat the slow," Douglas Alexander, managing director of the Internet Capital Group, a Wayne, Pa., venture capital firm, says in the December issue of Fortune Small Business magazine.

The magazine suggests that to succeed on the Internet you must go online right away with a good product, even if the timing's not ideal.

GHASTLY GIFTS:

The season for corporate gift-giving may have just ended, but some really bad gifts are likely still hanging around.

Didn't get what you were expecting? Corporategear.com, an online promotional products company, has compiled a list of the wackiest and worst corporate gifts.

Topping the list that defy explanation: computer rear view mirrors, vibrating stress grenades and underwear in a can. Among the worst company gifts: fruit baskets, 8-by-10 glossy photos of CEOs, and alarm clocks with company logos.

THE NAME GAME:

Marketing departments and advertising agencies have a Y2K problem of their own to worry about -- what to do with products and companies named 2000 once the year 2000 passes?

The imminent arrival of the new millennium has some companies in a name-changing rush. Computer maker Gateway 2000 has dropped the number from its corporate name and is now known as Gateway Inc. Shell Oil Co. has stopped selling its SU2000 gasoline.

"Once New Year's Eve comes and goes, anything that says `2000' on it could seem backward-looking," said Richard Schreuer of Chadwick Martin Bailey, a Boston consulting firm that helps companies develop product names.