U.S. markets fizzle Friday
NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Early gains in U.S. stock indexes fizzled Friday after an early jump prompted by reports that Spain is preparing to ask for an international bailout.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Spain and the European Commission are working out details for how the country would be in compliance with terms for a loan from the European Stability Mechanism.
Spain has yet to ask for help and has been holding back on making a formal request, in part because the terms of a loan could require harsh budget adjustments.
With Spanish banks holding large numbers of toxic mortgages, however, investors reacted favorably to news that Spain could be preparing to make a request for aid.
By close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 17.46 points, or 0.13 percent, to 13,579.47. The tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite index gained 4 points, or 0.13 percent, to 3,179.96. The Standard and Poor's 500 gave up less than a point or 0.01 percent, to 1,460.15.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,781 stocks advanced and 1,256 declined on a volume of 4.7 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 3/32 to yield 1.756 percent.
The euro rose to $1.2982 from Thursday's $1.2968. The U.S. dollar fell to 78.18 yen from 78.25 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.25 percent, 23.02 points, to 9,110.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was flat, dropping 0.03 percent, 2.02 points, to 5,852.62.
GM and CAW reach a tentative deal
WINDSOR, Ontario, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- General Motors of Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers Union said they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.
The deal's core stipulations were in line with a tentative agreement the CAW reached Monday with Ford Motor Co. of Canada, The New York Times reported Friday.
CAW President Ken Lewenza said, "We wanted to share in the modest success of General Motors."
David Wenner, the automaker's general director of labor relations, said talks with the union were "candid and constructive, reflecting the challenges facing Canadian manufacturers."
Chrysler has yet to negotiate a new contract. The is pushing the CAW to agree to a two-tier wage in which new hires are paid a lower wage, which would become establishes as the prevailing wage as older workers retire.
Ford and GM were able to negotiate a longer period of low pay for new hires, but not to make that low pay permanent.
If the contracts are ratified, new workers will be paid 60 percent of the full wage and take 10 years to reach the top wage of $34 per hour. Under the current contract, new workers are paid 70 percent of the top wage and are paid less than full wage for six years.
Chrysler would benefit more quickly than Ford or GM if a two-tiered system was adopted, because it only has 70 workers on furlough, which means it is closer to the point of having to hire new workers.
Ford has 900 workers in Canada waiting to be called back to their jobs and GM has more than that, the Times said.
Chrysler Canada said in a statement it looked "forward to continuing our discussions with the CAW."
Lewenza said the union, which pulled back from calling a strike on Monday, said negotiators would keep talking.
"We're not fearing of providing a strike notice, but, as we've said many times, that's the last tool in the toolbox," he said.
Unemployment rates up in 26 states
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Unemployment rates rose in 26 states in August and declined in 12, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.
In a report that breaks down the nation's employment situation state by state, the department said 12 other states had no change and the District of Columbia posted a decline.
In contrast, 28 states had an increase in jobs while 21 and the District of Columbia experienced job losses. The number of jobs in Colorado was unchanged.
Early this month, the department reported the country gained 96,000 jobs in August -- a preliminary number subject to change.
In the state-by-state breakdown, Texas added the most jobs in August, 38,000. Florida added 23,000 and Missouri gained 17,900 to round out the top three.
Virginia, on the other hand, posted a loss of 12,400 jobs followed by the District of Columbia, which lost 11,200 and Washington state, which lost 8,800.
The highest unemployment rate in the country was Nevada's 12.1 percent. Rhode Island had the second highest rate, 10.7 percent and California the next highest at 10.6 percent.
The department said 21 states had unemployment rates "significantly lower" than the national rate of 8.1 percent.
The lowest unemployment rates are 3 percent in North Dakota, 4 percent in Nebraska, 4.5 percent in South Dakota and 5.1 percent in Oklahoma.
U.S. on-the-job deaths lower in 2011
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The number of work-related fatalities in the United States fell in 2011 from 2010, the Labor Department said.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said 4,609 workers died from "occupational injuries" in 2011, a decrease from 4,690 workplace deaths in 2010. The number is considered a preliminary total, the bureau said.
Using current data, the rate of fatalities at work was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time workers, an improvement over the 2010 rate of 3.6 per 100,000.
In a report released Thursday, the bureau said fatalities in private construction declined from 774 in 2010 to 721 in 2011.
Construction worker deaths have dropped nearly 42 percent since 2006, the bureau said.
Fatalities were down 10 percent year-to-year in the mining industry.
The most dangerous job in terms of the number of deaths is driving, with private truck transportation work fatalities up 14 percent year-to-year, the second consecutive year of increases. Overall, two out of every five fatalities at work involved transportation incidents, with 1,898 incidents reported -- 1,075 of them traffic accidents -- the bureau said.
In addition, 780 workers died at work due to violence -- including suicide, which accounted for 242 worker deaths in 2011.
Among the violent deaths, most involved shootings, although 37 involved animal- or insect-related injuries.
Falls, slips or trips accounted for 666 worker deaths in 2011.
The report uses a new incident reporting system that includes data on the height of falls that resulted in worker deaths. One fourth of the falls were from less than 10 feet high, while another quarter were from heights of over 30 feet, the bureau said.
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TEL AVIV, Israel, May 17 (UPI) --Nobel Energy of Houston, which discovered Israel's big gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, is pressing the government to decide soon on an energy export policy as the prospect of an undersea pipeline to Turkey gains credibility.