GOOD DAY FOR: Traveling light, after U.S. scooter sales rose 66 percent in the first half of the year, in step with gas prices, even as car sales slumped and motorcycle sales were flat. Sales of Piaggio’s scooters, including Vespas, more than doubled each month this summer. Americans used to buy scooters for weekend fun, says Piaggio’s Paolo Timoni, but now it’s an “an alternative transportation vehicle.” (

BAD DAY FOR: T. Boone Pickens, after the 80-year-old Texas oilman-turned-energy-independence-spokesman’s hedge funds lost about $1 billion this year, mostly because he was blindsided by the mid-summer downturn in the energy market. His personal losses total $270 million. “It’s my toughest run in 10 years,” Pickens said. “There’s nothing fun about it.” (The Wall Street Journal)