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UPI NewsTrack Business

Dec. 5, 2012 at 7:19 PM   |   Comments

Stocks mixed Wednesday

NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. stock indexes were mixed Wednesday, as a private payroll company said 118,000 jobs were added to the economy in November.

Ahead of Friday's Labor Department report, which includes government jobs, Automatic Data Processing Inc. said the private sector job gains were smaller than expected.

The ADP monthly report quotes Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi as saying Superstorm Sandy "wreaked havoc on the job market in November, sliding an estimated 86,000 jobs from payrolls."

The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing index for November rose from 54.2 to 54.7, indicating a slightly faster pace for growth among service industries in the month.

The Commerce Department said factory orders rose 0.8 percent in the month.

By close of trading Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average added 82.71 points, or 0.64 percent, to 13,034.49.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index shed 22.99 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,973.70. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 2.23 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,409.28.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,579 stocks advanced and 1,442 declined on a volume of 4.1 billion shares traded.

The 10-year treasury note rose 6/32 to yield 1.591 percent.

The euro fell to $1.307 from Tuesday's $1.3095. The dollar rose to 82.43 yen from 81.90 yen.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 0.39 percent, 36.38 points, to 9,468.84.

Britain's FTSE 100 index gained 0.39 percent, 23.04 points, to 5,892.08.


Michigan looks at right-to-work issue

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said the issue of right-to-work, allowing non-union workers into union shops, was under discussion in the state capital.

Snyder said the issue, which is being pushed by conservative groups, is "on the agenda."

"There's been enough discussion now that it has been highlighted enough, it's an important issue, so we are going to talk about it," Snyder told reporters.

"There will be decisions made in the appropriate time frame," he said.

There was confusion as to what the time frame might be, but anticipation is high that a right-to-work bill would be introduce in the state capital by a Republican lawmaker in the near future, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.

The issue of establishing the right for workers to work in a union shop, but not pay union dues, is considered divisive in Michigan, where the United Auto Workers union and the automobile industry have such a high profile presence, the newspaper said. Further, the Nov. 6 election included a referendum in Michigan called Proposition 2 that would have guaranteed collective bargaining rights in the state. But voters turned down that initiative, presenting right-to-work backers a window of opportunity.

"This is one of the most important steps you can take to jump-start the state's economy, boost employment and spur population growth," wrote Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform in a Nov. 30 letter to Republican lawmakers.

The Detroit News said the Michigan Chamber of Commerce had reversed its earlier opposition to a right-to-work and said Monday it would back right-to-work legislation.

Others called the issue divisive or a needless distraction. "We still hope the governor will do the right thing by standing up to the CEO [chief executive officer] bosses in his own party and pledging to veto a [right-to-work] bill," said Zack Pohl, executive director of Progress Michigan.

"We can't afford to waste time on divisive issues like RTW, which will weaken the middle class and won't create jobs," Pohl said.


Citigroup to cut 11,000 jobs

NEW YORK, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. financial giant Citigroup said it would shutter dozens of branch offices and cut 11,000 jobs in an effort to trim operation expenses.

The bank said it would take a pretax charge of $1 billion on the reductions, as it closed 14 branch offices in Brazil, seven in Hong Kong, 4 in Hungary, 15 in Korea and 44 in the United States.

"These actions are logical next steps in Citi's transformation. While we are committed to -- and our strategy continues to leverage -- our unparalleled global network and footprint, we have identified areas and products where our scale does not provide for meaningful returns," said the bank's new Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat in a statement.

Corbat replaced Vikram Pandit, who steered the bank through the financial crisis, but was fired in October.

Corbat said Citigroup would "further increase our operating efficiency by reducing excess capacity and expenses, whether they center on technology, real estate or simplifying our operations."

The bank said 6,200 jobs would be cut from its global consumer banking operations, while another 2,300 jobs would be trimmed from technology and support services. In addition, 350 Citi Holdings positions will be cut, as well as 300 in global function and 1,900 in securities and transaction services.


Lockheed Martin to move 560 jobs

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Defense contractor Lockheed Martin, makers of the F-22, F-16 and F-35 military jets, said it would move 560 jobs from Georgia to Texas.

"Now we are at a stage of supporting the aircraft that are in the field and looking at opportunities to make improvements in the aircraft," said Lockheed spokesman Joe Stout.

The jobs being moved from Marietta, Ga., to Fort Worth, Texas, include engineering and administrative jobs, but no hourly positions, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported Wednesday.

With the $66 billion F-22 production line closed down, Lockheed Martin is now looking for ways to profit through servicing and upgrading the aircraft, which could be in operation for another 25 years, Stout said.

"During that time, they're going to need a lot of support. ... Electronic technology is going to change. There might be an opportunity to replace a system or capability on the F-22 with something faster and better," he said.

The F-22, called the Raptor, was partially built in Fort Worth, where the company has 14,200 employees.

Employees in Georgia were given until Jan. 7 to decide whether they would move to Texas. If they chose to say, they could be reassigned or laid off, the newspaper said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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