May 25, 2010
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 150 points, led by Kraft [KFT 28.0481 -0.8819 (-3.05%) ], Caterpillar [CAT 57.4111 -1.8089 (-3.05%) ] and Alcoa [AA 10.87 -0.22 (-1.98%) ]. Home Depot [HD 33.23 0.01 (+0.03%) ] was the only gainer on the Dow.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both fell more than 1 percent.
Losses steadied, however, after about 15 minutes of trading and coinciding with an NBC report that North Korean troops were not on military alert despite tensions with the South.
The CBOE Volatility Index [VIX 39.93 1.61 (+4.2%) ] climbed back above 40 as fear spread quickly that geopolitical and economic storms across the globe would weigh on growth and sap the stock rally that sent major indexes up more than 70 percent from the March 2009 lows.
“If you’re sitting as an investor today saying, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ it means you’re taking on too much risk,” advised Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx, an institutional investment advisory firm in New York. “You have to make sure you’re positioned with your portfolio not to have to make big decisions on big down days.”
March 1, 2010
By Connie Guglielmo
Apple Inc. said three of its suppliers hired 11 underage workers to help build the iPhone, iPod and Macintosh computer last year, a violation it uncovered as part of its onsite audit of 102 factories.
“Apple discovered three facilities that had previously hired 15-year-old workers in countries where the minimum age for employment is 16,” the company said in a 24-page report on “Supplier Responsibility” posted on its Web site. The workers were “no longer in active employment at the time of our audit.”
Apple didn’t name its suppliers and manufacturers. The company visited sites in China, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Philippines and the U.S. Apple also found three cases where suppliers “falsified records” to conceal underage hiring, more than 60 facilities where employees were overworked, 24 partners that paid less than the minimum wage and 57 who didn’t offer all required benefits.
“Apple’s Code sets a maximum of 60 work hours per week and requires at least one day of rest per seven days of work,” the company said. Apple also said it asked suppliers to end a practice “where wage deductions were used for disciplinary purposes.”
The company said it stopped doing business with at least one unnamed supplier after finding repeated violations and “inadequate actions” to address the problems.
Apple’s review also found that at eight facilities, including suppliers in Taiwan, foreign workers paid excessive recruitment fees to hiring agencies to get jobs. The company said employees were reimbursed $2.2 million in fee overcharges over the past two years and that Apple has set a standard limiting such fees to the “equivalent of one month’s net wages.”
Apple “also created extensive training programs to educate workers about their right to a safe and respectful work environment,” Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, said today.
As part of that training, more than 128,000 workers received information outlining their rights and more than 5,000 supervisors and managers received training on their responsibilities to employees, Apple said in its report.
The company also established courses for workers to expand computer and technical skills and set standards for dormitories, medical treatment and pregnancy non-discrimination.
Apple rose $2.62 to $204.62 yesterday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares more than doubled last year.