The daily business briefing: September 13, 2016
U.S. stocks struggle for footing as rate-hike odds fall, Samsung shares claw back after deep post-recall losses, and more
U.S. stocks bounce back as rate-hike odds fall
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped by 240 points, or 1.3 percent, on Monday after Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Lael Brainard called for "prudence" as the central bank's policy makers consider raising interest rates. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes rose by 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Two other Fed officials also said there was no hurry to raise rates. The Dow plunged by nearly 400 points on Friday due to fears of a looming interest rate hike. Despite Monday's good news, U.S. stock index futures dropped early Tuesday, pointing to a sharply lower open as investors continued to digest the Fed comments, and oil prices dropped on a forecast of slowing demand.
Samsung shares get a lift after two days of big losses
Samsung Electronics shares opened up by 2.5 percent on Tuesday, regaining some of the massive losses the South Korean electronics maker suffered on Monday, when the stock plunged by 7 percent. Samsung shares also lost big on Friday as the company reeled following a voluntary recall of its latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, due to the risk of battery fires. Tuesday's rebound came after Samsung announced that its de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, the son of its longtime chairman, had been nominated to take a board seat.
Brown signs California rules extending overtime pay for farm workers
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Monday signed a bill expanding overtime pay to the state's farm workers. The new law calls for phasing in overtime rules for agricultural workers starting in 2019, lowering the current 10-hour-a-day threshold to the standard eight-hour cutoff over four years. The United Farm Workers of America, which sponsored the bill, said it aimed to correct an injustice that has endured for decades. The union's president, Arturo Rodriguez, thanked Brown and lawmakers who voted for the bill for "making a tough decision like this and changing the course of history."
Wells Fargo halts call center sales pitches
Wells Fargo & Co. on Monday told call center workers to stop cross-selling financial products to customers — for now. The move came a day after the bank and federal regulators reached a $185 million settlement regarding the opening of more than 2 million accounts by employees without customers' consent. "We asked the team to pause on the sales part of our calls," a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based lender said Monday.
Weight Watchers stock dives after CEO resigns
Weight Watchers International shares plunged by as much as 8 percent in after-hours trading after the company announced Monday that CEO James Chambers had resigned. The stock later recovered a bit of its losses, but remained down by 4.4 percent Tuesday morning. Media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, who bought a 10 percent stake in the company last year, will help the company look for a replacement for Chambers. He and the members of the company's board, which includes Winfrey, made a "joint decision" he should go as the company struggles to compete with rival diet programs.