STATE OF BUSINESS: Sound & Busy

Like a man walking into a memorial service to report that nobody had died, Bridgeport Brass Chairman Herman Steinkraus said last week: "Wall Street's recession talk wouldn't last very long if Wall Streeters got into and around the country and saw how sound and busy it was." The soundness and busyness was evident in many quarters last week. Some signs:

¶ Employment moved higher than ever before, to 63.4 million in August, the Commerce Department reported, while unemployment dropped to a postwar low of 1,240,000, only 1.9% of the total work force. The Labor Department found 16 major areas...

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