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A Week's Worth

On the heels of another decision by the Federal Reserve not to raise interest rates, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent last week, extending the longest rally by US stocks in 11 months.

Planning to fly to Grandmother's house for Thanksgiving? The average round-trip ticket will cost you $20 to $60 more than it did a year ago, according to priceline.com, the online reservation service. And if you wait 'til Christmas, expect to pay between $50 and $100 more. Reason: fewer available seats.

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Working overtime tends to be less noticed if one arrives early rather than staying late, the Spherion recruiting/staffing agency of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says. But there are some tricks you can use to help level the playing field. Such as? For one, make a point of asking whether you'll need a special key or security code to open the office. For another, shoot an occasional time-stamped e-mail to the boss before he or she arrives as a reminder that you've been on the job ahead of everyone else.

"Sick days," also known as unscheduled absences, are at a seven-year high, a new study by human resources provider CCH says. Another uncomfortable find for employers: Two of every three staffers calling to say they don't feel up to working do so "for reasons other than personal illness" – such as a sense of entitlement. Unscheduled absenteeism is "significantly higher" at companies with low overall staff morale, the CCH study found.


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