The Labor Department reports positive jobs and unemployment numbers; shippers and dockworkers are in contract disputes, and Home Depot reports a bigger number of hacked accounts. Here is the news of the day for Nov. 7, 2014.
Jobs Report Comes in Positive
The Labor Department Friday said the U.S. economy created 214,000 jobs in October, which was less jobs than expected by economists but still a number large enough to encourage investors that the economic recovery continues. Also, the unemployment rate dipped to 5.8 percent in October, the lowest rate seen in six years. Finally, the labor force participation rate, considered by some experts to be a more reliable barometer of labor conditions, moved higher to 62.8 percent from 62.7 percent.
Shipping Companies Battle With Union Workers
The Pacific Maritime Association Thursday said the union representing dock workers was holding back members to Southern California boatyard in a battle over stalled contract negotiations. The docks are where containers are loaded from ships to trains and trucks for delivery inland. In a statement released Thursday, the PMA said terminal congestion has gotten untenable due to a surge in cargo volume, an insufficient number of truck drivers, and now a drop in workers to handle crane operations to move containers from ship to truck or train. A similar work stoppage complaint was issued earlier in the month about dock traffic in Seattle and Portland. Dockworkers are represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and have been working with a contract since July.
Ponzi Comes to Bitcoin
A Texas man was charged Thursday in New York with defrauding investors of millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin, the Associated Press reports. It is the first federal securities case involving a Ponzi-scheme using the digital currency. Trendon Shavers, 32, was arrested at his home in McKinney, Texas, on Thursday morning on charges of securities and wire fraud after promising investors 7 percent interest weekly on their bitcoin at his Bitcoin Savings and Trust company, court papers show. Shavers allegedly raised at least 764,000 bitcoin, worth $4.5 million, from investors from September 2011 to September 2012. Of Shavers' 100 investors in the company, almost half lost their all or part of their bitcoin investments, prosecutors said.
The Force is with Disney in 4th Quarter
Disney Studios, which released a string of hits in 2014, including “Guardians of the Galaxy,” had the strongest results among the media company’s divisions in the fiscal fourth quarter. Revenue in that unit climbed 18 percent to $1.78 billion, with growth both in theatrical distribution due to "Maleficent" and "Guardians” and home entertainment due to the continuing popularity of "Frozen" and "Captain America." Next year, Disney will release the first of its planned annual “Star Wars” movies. On Thursday, Disney announced the title: “The Force Awakens.” The Burbank, Calif.-based company said revenue from media and cable networks rose 5 percent to $5.22 billion, while parks and resorts rose 7 percent to $4 billion.
Home Depot Hackers Got Email Addresses
The Home Depot Inc. said Thursday that hackers stole 53 million email addresses. The Atlanta-based retailer said the hackers accessed its network with a vendor's username and password, the Associated Press reports. A massive data breach last September involved 56 million debt and credit cards between April and September. The file containing the email addresses did not contain passwords or other sensitive personal information, but the company cautioned that customers should be on guard against phishing scams that might trick them into sharing personal information.
Bad News from Abercrombie & Fitch
A sales report well below expectations caused retailer Abercrombie & Fitch to issue a depressing third quarter sales report. Abercrombie said third quarter sales for the period ending Nov. 1 came in at $911.4 million, 12 percent below the same period last year, and more than $80 million below economists’ expectations of $198.2 million in sales. Abercrombie’s total sales amount was almost $40 million below the most pessimistic forecast of 30 analysts polled by Reuters. Same store sales fell 7 percent in the United States and 15 percent internationally. The company said it expects to report an adjusted profit of 40 to 42 cents a share, while economists had expected a profit of 67 cents per share.