Dow jones's diary

Starts today, direct from the futures market: we speculate on the week's big City stories - before they happen.
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The Independent Culture
Thursday 27 November

Japanese toy manufacturers unveil a rival to the Tamagotchi cyberpet: the "Yamaichi" CyberPEP, which needs to be paid constant attention and have its messes regularly cleared up, in order to stop it from collapsing.

Labour unveils a replacement for the Tessa. The new scheme, to be known as the TessaJowell, offers investors a guaranteed pounds 1m repayment.

Jim O'Donnell, having quit his high-flying post at HSBC to become a Roman Catholic priest, announces that the Church will be relaunched as Investment House of God plc, and confidently predicts a 10 per cent boost in prophets over the Christmas period.

Friday 28 November

British Airways denies that its new no-frills service "will force rival operators into winding-up operations". Although this fails to stop Boeing patenting the World's first clockwork Jumbo Jet.

Microsoft attempt to regain some credibility after a dramatic pounds 90m raid on one of their factories, by unveiling plans for the next upgrade to their Operating System, Boarded-Up Windows '95.

Saturday 29 November

Laura Ashley attempts to boost sales ... again. By flogging a job lot of cotton tops to Greenpeace in Japan, emblazoned with the slogan "Save the Tiger Economy".

British Airways officially name their new cut-price airline "Blue Skies", after marketing consultants suggest this may appeal more than the initial suggestion, "Blue Lips".

Sunday 30 November

City traders are in shock after medical evidence supports the theory that mobile phone use can affect long-term memory. Nine out of 10 regular mobile users admit to forgetting constantly what an irritating poseur they come across as.

Monday 1 December

Laura Ashley attempts to boost profits by offering Father Jim O'Donnell a special bulk-buy deal on long black dresses.

Tuesday 2 December

Barclays Bank staff vote on whether to hold all-out strikes in the run- up to Christmas. Initial proposals to scale the action down to a go-slow are rejected on the grounds that nobody would actually notice.

Wednesday 3 December

In the wake of Safeway's declaration that profits are down yet again, Sainsbury and Tesco announce their intention to outdo their rival's disappointing performance, by introducing special new "bounced check-outs" and a Customer Disloyalty Card.

And it's good news at last for Laura Ashley, which finally reports a successful export: half a million pairs of brown trousers to the board of directors at Yamaichi.

Debbie Barham