new yorkDennis Seid 6/3/10
Stocks extend gain ahead of monthly jobs report
n NEW YORK – Stocks climbed on reports that business at the nation’s services companies grew in May and that the number of people seeking first-time jobless claims slipped for a second week. The gains faded at times as the day wore on Thursday, but stocks recovered by the close as traders looked ahead to today’s Labor Department’s May jobs report.
The Dow rose 5.74, or 0.1 percent, to 10,255.28. The Dow’s two-day gain was the first since April 28-29.
The Standard amp& Poor’s 500 index rose 4.45, or 0.4 percent, to 1,102.83, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 21.96, or 1 percent, to 2,303.03.
Crude oil rose $1.75 to $74.61 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold fell.
hinds countyDennis Seid 6/3/10
Texas firm fined $45,000 for violating no-call list
n JACKSON – A Texas company has been fined $45,000 for allegedly violating Mississippi’s no-call law.
Mississippi Public Service Commission Chairman Brandon Presley said Thursday that Houston-based Mobile Marketing Solutions failed to register and to purchase Mississippi’s list of people or companies who don’t want telephone solicitations.
He said the company also contacted consumers registered on the list.
Presley said Mobile Marketing Solutions representatives failed to respond to the PSC’s findings. He said the company is banned from making solicitation calls in Mississippi until it buys a no-call list and pays the civil penalty.
The company could appeal the fine to the chancery court in Hinds County.
arkansasDennis Seid 6/3/10
Wal-Mart launches discount college plan for employees
n LITTLE ROCK – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced a program Thursday in which its workers can receive college credit from the online American Public University and receive a tuition discount from the school.
The company also said it will commit $50 million over three years to help workers pay for books and tuition above the reduced tuition rate. After the reduction, tuition will cost $212.50 per undergraduate credit hour and $255 for graduate credits.
Wal-Mart Chief Administrative Officer Tom Mars said the program grew out of a larger commitment to cultivate talent within the company. The plan is open to domestic workers at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.
Alicia Ledlie, Wal-Mart senior director for associate development, said nearly three-quarters of Wal-Mart workers contacted in a survey said they preferred online study to attending a local college.
The credit for training can be applied mainly to business- and retail-related courses. Wal-Mart said the school will have evaluated for credit jobs held by 70 percent of Wal-Mart workers by 2012. That covers about 1 million workers.