STATE OF BUSINESS: Over the Top

After a month-long rise, Wall Street's bounding bull market passed a notable milestone last week. As the week began, stocks on the Dow-Jones industrial average drove beyond the 500 mark for the first time in history. Yet the record stood only overnight. Confident investors continued to push stock up day after day. By week's end Dow-Jones industrials stood at 507.60, up 9.76 points for the week.

Wall Street's confidence last week was echoed throughout the U.S. economy. The Federal Reserve's annual Survey of Consumer Finances showed that people never felt better about their economic prospects, planned to buy record, or...

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