Discover Bank Refunds 200 Million Dollars|
Discover Bank (DFS) was ordered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to refund approximately $200 million to
more than 3.5 million customers plus, pay a $14 million fine over alleged
deceptive telemarketing and sales tactics used by Discover to mislead consumers
into paying for various credit card "add-on products." Discover (DFS) said
settlement was made to “resolve previously disclosed matters related to the
marketing of certain credit protection products sold by telephone.”
Shares of Facebook (FB) tripped Nasdaq's circuit breaker on Monday, with shares
ending the trading session on Wall Street lower by 9%. The circuit breaker is
meant to protect stocks from manipulation by short sellers. Early on in the
trading session on Monday, Facebook shares fell by at least 10% from the
previous session's closing price, triggering the Nasdaq system which imposes a
restriction on prices at which a stock can be sold short.
According to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, as
retailers continue to remain cautious in the face of weak consumer confidence,
seasonal hiring in retail is unlikely to significantly increase ahead of the
holidays despite solid back-to-school sales. In its annual holiday hiring
forecast, Challenger estimated that seasonal job gains are likely to be only
slightly higher than 2011but still below pre-recession levels. Chief Executive
John A. Challenger noted that while surveys of retailers show that they are
hopeful for solid sales gains this year, recent consumer confidence readings
have been relatively weak and unemployment remains high. "The mixed picture is
likely to compel retail employers to proceed cautiously when it comes to hiring
extra workers for the holiday season," he said. Challenger anticipates many
retailers will maintain their workforce at 2011 levels and only if strong sales
early in the season warrant it, will hire additional workers. In 2011, retail
payrolls saw a non-seasonally adjusted net gain of 660,200 workers from October
through December, a 1.9% gain from 2010. Challenger said "there is still too
much uncertainty to expect seasonal employment gains to reach the level we saw
in 2006, when retailers added nearly 747,000 extra workers at the end of the
year." He also noted "we may never again reach the level of hiring achieved in
1999, at the height of the dot.com boom, when nearly 850,000 seasonal workers
were added." Positive trends that could help retailers achieve expected sales
gains include higher payroll employment during August, up more than 1.8 million
workers from 2011. As of Q2, median weekly earnings increased to $773, compared
to $756 per week during the same period during 2011. Challenger noted that
Target (TGT) revealed plans to add fewer holiday workers to the tune of 80,000
to 90,000 seasonal workers, down from the 92,000 it hired in 2011. Kohl's (KSS)
said it plans to increase its seasonal hiring this year to 52,700, up from
40,000 in 2011. Amazon.com (AMZN) said it would add 5,000 seasonal workers at
its distribution facilities. Challenger also said it expects "big hiring plans"
from United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx (FDX) which typically add extra
workers to help handle the increased holiday shipping.
DigitalGlobe (DGI), earth imagery technology company as well as GeoEye (GEOY)
satellite imagery company, have been asked by the U.S. Department of Justice for
additional information on DigitalGlobe proposed acquisition of GeoEye. In July,
DigitalGlobe revealed it had agreed to acquire GeoEye for about $450 million,
turning the tables after GeoEye made public a bid for DigitalGlobe in May.
DigitalGlobe has grappled with government spending cuts that have raised
concerns about its sales prospects, as it caters to the U.S. government. In
August 2010, the companies received 10-year contracts worth a combined $7.35
billion to fulfill U.S. intelligence needs. Federal spending cutbacks have
raised concerns across the industry about sales prospects in the years ahead.
The name of the combined companies would be DigitalGlobe and upon completion of
the transaction, DigitalGlobe shareholders are expected to own nearly 64% of the
entity. DigitalGlobe said it is cooperating with the DOJ on Monday and expects
to close the transaction in Q4 of 2012 or Q1 of 2013.
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