Despite frozen credit and slow consumer spending, a (precious) few sectors are thriving. Successful industries sell anything with the word "dollar" in it, lipstick, Wii and Spam.
Wondering what all those laid off junior analysts are up to these days? Video games sales rose 18% in October, according to retail research firm NPD Group. Microsoft, which makes the Xbox gaming system, had its best Black Friday ever - sales on the popular November shopping day were 25% higher than last year. Nintendo has also seen higher sales, and GameStop, a leading retail chain, just posted a strong quarter. The stocks of most video game companies have been beaten down this year, but a strong holiday season may recharge the industry's returns.