Nation & World
Dow nears 17,000 for first time
U.S. stocks finished at record highs Tuesday as the Dow Jones industrial average closes in on 17,000 points for the first time.
The Dow rose 129 points, or 0.8 percent, to end at 16,956 points. It came within two points of 17,000 during trading. IBM led the Dow higher with a gain of 3 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,973. The Nasdaq composite gained 50 points, or 1.2 percent, to 4,458.
The market rose following reports showing that manufacturing in the U.S. and China expanded in June.
West Coast dock workers’ contract in negotiations after expiration
The contract that keeps thousands of dockworkers on the job at West Coast ports from San Diego to Seattle is expiring, but don’t expect a disruption in the billions of dollars of trade that crosses the waterfront – at least not yet.
Both the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the association that represents shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 ports have promised to keep negotiating past 5 p.m. PDT Tuesday, when the current six-year contract ended. Indeed, no resolution is expected for weeks, with tough issues including whether workers should shoulder more of the hefty cost of health care yet to be resolved.
As talks drag out, jitters will grow among the companies that last year imported or exported nearly $900 billion worth of cargo across the West Coast waterfront.
The Pacific Maritime Association has said that labor peace is essential to keeping West Coast ports competitive, especially with larger vessels able to sail from Asia directly to East Coast markets once an expansion of the Panama Canal is completed.
Graci recalls nearly 2 million car seats
Graco Children’s Products is recalling 1.9 million infant car seats, bowing to demands from U.S. safety regulators, in what is now the largest seat recall in American history.
The recall, announced Tuesday, comes after a five-month spat between Graco and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Earlier this year the company recalled 4.2 million toddler seats because the harness buckles can get stuck. But it resisted the agency’s demand to recall the infant seats.
Buckles can get gummed up by food and drinks, and that could make it hard to remove children. In some cases parents had to cut harnesses to get their kids out. The agency says that increases the risk of injuries in emergencies.
Graco argued that infant seats are used differently, and in an emergency, an adult can remove the whole seat rather than using the buckle.
The company says there have been no injuries reported because of the problem. Spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey said in a statement that Tuesday’s move, which brings the recall to 6.1 million seats, comes after months of sharing data and research with NHTSA. The company said the recall “is in the best interest of consumers and underscores our shared commitment to child passenger safety.”
For details on the recall: see www.GracoBuckleRecall.com or call (877) 766-7470.
Regulator: T-Mobile collected millions on bogus charges to customers
T-Mobile USA knowingly made hundreds of millions of dollars off its customers in potentially bogus charges, a federal regulator alleged Tuesday in a complaint likely to mar the reputation of a household name in wireless communications.
In its complaint filed in a federal court in Seattle, the Federal Trade Commission claimed that T-Mobile billed consumers for subscriptions to premium text services such as $10-per-month horoscopes that were never authorized by the account holder. The FTC alleges that T-Mobile collected as much as 40 percent of the charges, even after being alerted by other customers that the subscriptions were scams.
The Federal Communications Commission has launched a separate inquiry into T-Mobile’s billing practices, which could result in fines if it finds any wrongdoing.
T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment.