BRIEFS - CEOs: Economy half empty

Wall Street appears to be recovering, and consumers aren't as jittery about the economy, but the people who run corporate America aren't declaring victory just yet.

TEC International's quarterly survey of nearly 1,200 chief executives found most shying away from saying a recovery is under way, although they believe it will be in place by December, just in time for holiday shopping.

Of those polled by the North Carolina-based CEO development group, 60 percent say the recovery will start by the end of the year. Another 26 percent believe the economic rebound has already begun.

The industries expected to rebound fastest include manufacturing, information technology and biotechnology.

Job hunting at the office


There's a dearth of openings in the labor market, but many people who already have jobs are nonetheless looking for the next one -- and usually while they're at work.

In a poll of more than 8,000 users of its Web site, HotJobs Inc. found that roughly two-thirds of those who voted said they're looking for a new position at the office despite fears they could get fired if found out. Those fears aside, many said they didn't have any qualms about looking on the company's dime.

While not scientific, the Web site said 23 percent of the respondents are looking for a new job five days a week. Another 43 percent are spending at least six days a week searching. Two-thirds, or 66 percent, said they're looking for a new line of work every day.

Mortgage rates edge down

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage rates around the country edged down this week after creeping up four weeks in a row, according to a nationwide survey.

Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported that the average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dipped to 7.13 percent, down from 7.18 percent the previous week. A year ago, 30-year mortgages averaged 7.01 percent.

Rates on 30-year mortgages hit a low of 6.45 percent in early November, their lowest point since Freddie Mac began conducting its nationwide survey in 1971.

Fifteen-year mortgages, a popular option for refinancing, slipped to to 6.64 percent, down from 6.69 percent the week before. A year ago, 15-year mortgages averaged 6.54 percent.


Feds order Dish Network to fix plan

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators ruled that the Dish Network makes it too hard for its satellite subscribers to get certain local television stations.

The Federal Communications Commission ordered EchoStar Communications Corp., which offers the Dish Network, to fix its "two-dish" plan, which requires subscribers to get a second dish in order to see some local channels.

The ruling issued by the FCC's Media Bureau said the requirement violates federal law because customers pay the same price for local stations whether or not they get the second-dish channels, which usually are second-tier stations not affiliated with the major broadcast networks.

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