The list, describing a wide range of items specified by both brand and brutally exacting characteristics, (glossy, hardcover spiral notebook with zipper, magnetic and button-closing accessory pockets; 132 pages, $17.99; Coach) is said to require no fewer than three separate retail outings and at least $168.46 to fulfill, including impulsive last-minute folder upgrades.
The report sent the indexes surging as market strategists pounced on shares of blue erasable pens, wide-ruled notebook paper, 8-count bold Crayola markers - but not the thin ones - and elaborate expandable file folders.
Shares of Office Depot (ODP:NYSE) led the rally, climbing more than $3 in the last half hour on rumors that a suburban mommy in the Chicago area had begun to crumble in her resistance to a skull and crossbones backpack and matching lunch box.
By day's end, it was clear that "off-list" purchases had left investors even further ahead, as consumers found themselves worn down by middle-schoolers who refused to consider existing supplies from the bin in the basement.
"I know what I need and I don't want to use five-year-old, dusty crap," said one finnicky 13-year-old, whose insistence on a faux-leather $34.99 three-ring organizer left the investor relations department at Office Depot hastily adjusting third-quarter projections.
Photo: 10-year-old bullish on backpacks.