NEW YORK, April 10 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets dropped sharply Tuesday, as European finances continued to undermine confidence on Wall Street.
Yields on benchmark 10-year bonds in Spain rose to 5.88 percent after peaking above 5.9 percent, as the government announced a new round of austerity measures. The proposed combination of tax hikes and spending cuts would trim the budget deficit by an additional $13 billion. In late March, the government announced plans to trim the deficit by $30 billion.
By close of trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 213.66 points or 1.65 percent to 12,715.93. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gave up 55.86 points or 1.83 percent to 2,991.22. The Standard and Poor's 500 index dropped 23.61 points or 1.71 percent to 1,358.59.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 463 stocks advanced and 2,609 declined on a volume of 4.4 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note rose 18/32 to yield 1.989 percent.
The euro fell to $1.308 from Monday's $1.3106. Against the yen, the dollar dropped to 80.68 yen from Monday's 81.49 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index shed 0.09 percent, 8.24, to 9,538.02.
In London, the FTSE 100 index shed 2.24 percent, 128.12, to 5,595.55.
Small business groups back Buffett Rule
WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- Three alliances representing small U.S. businesses urged passage of tax code that would embrace the "Buffett Rule," the groups said in statement Tuesday.
The American Sustainable Business Council, the Business for Shared Prosperity and the Main Street Alliance put their collective weight behind the controversial tax proposal named for one of the country's richest men, investor Warren Buffett, who revealed last year that he pays less in federal income tax than his secretary.
Buffett, in a commentary on the tax code, said many of his "mega-rich friends" would be willing to pay more in taxes, especially while others are suffering.
Despite the president's entreaties, the U.S. Senate, which will debate the matter Monday, is not expected to pass a procedural vote on closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, as it is not likely to pass with the necessary 60-vote majority, The New York Times reported.
There have been various proposals on where to draw the line in the sand separating the middle class from the wealthy. The small business groups urged the Senate to legislate a "Buffett Rule" by passing the Paying a Fair Share Act (S. 2059), assuring that households with incomes above $1 million don't pay lower tax rates than middle-income taxpayers.
In a letter to the Senate, the small business groups noted that a national poll indicated 57 percent of small business owners support the tax increase included in the Buffett Rule.
"The scientific poll revealed that only one of the 500 small business owners surveyed reported an income above $1 million," the trade groups said.
Republicans have claimed that shutting down loopholes for the wealthy would stymie business innovation and hobble job growth.
To many others, shutting down the loopholes is about fairness.
"I've been in business 33 years, and I'm appalled that my customers, who worry about scraping up enough to pay for their next tank of gas and groceries, pay higher tax rates than some oil and food executives. The Buffett Rule is the right step in bringing more fairness to the tax system and supporting the public investments and job creation we need for a healthy economy," said Lew Prince, owner of Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, Missouri, and a BSP leader.
Warning shots fired at factory lockout
HAT YAI, Thailand, April 10 (UPI) -- Police fired warning shots to disperse locked out workers at the Phatthana Seafood Co. in Thailand's Songkhla province, but none were injured, witnesses said.
More than 800 workers at the factory found gates locked as tensions rose when the company cut a daily food allowance and a hard work allowance -- a combined $1.28 -- after the minimum wage in Thailand was raised April 1, The Phnom Penh Post reported Tuesday.
The minimum wage was raised to $7.94 per day from $5.68, the newspaper said.
About 70 percent of the 2,000 plant workers are Cambodians, who live in company housing, which has also become a source of tension.
"The problem is the company has not implemented the contract ... accommodation (housing) was supposed to be free of charge," said Moeun Tola, head of the work program at the Cambodian Legal Education Center.
He said the housing facilities did not even include a toilet.
A workers' representative, Sok Sorng, said "No one was injured during this incident, because we did not want to see any violence ... we decided to go back to our rental house. We will protest again until we get a solution."
An estimated 15 policemen were involved in the incident.
"I believe there was a misunderstanding about the wage. I will follow this up today," said Thai Vice Minister of Labor Anusorn Kraiowatnussorn.
After layoffs, Yahoo! tries a shake-up
SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 10 (UPI) -- Yahoo! Inc.'s headquarters in California is undergoing a shakeup, a memo from Chief Executive Officer Scott Thompson says.
The memo written for employees said the firm would organize itself around "consumer, regions and technology," reported The New York Times, which reviewed the note.
Thompson said the consumer division's media business would be run by Ross Levinsohn, who was previously the head of Yahoo! Americas. The firm's social media businesses, Flickr and its e-mail service would be directed by Shashi Seth, currently the head of Yahoo!'s search business.
Technology will be handled by Mark Morrissey, previous head of the search business.
Morrissey and David Dibble, who runs the firm's data center, will also be in charge of Yahoo! Labs, which will be charged with finding new ways to interact with the company's 700 million visitors, the Times said.
Sam Shraugher, who resigned as the head of PayPal's products division last week, is expected to be named the head of Yahoo!'s commerce division.
Last week, Yahoo! said it would lay off 2,000 workers, about 14 percent of its workforce. The firm, despite the huge number of visitors, is losing advertising market share to Google Inc. and Facebook.
Some shareholders are growing impatient with the firm, which appears to be trimming its operation, rather than stepping up and finding innovative ways to engage its visitors and turn that into advertising revenue, the Times said.
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