Employees Battle Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has entered another battle with some of its employees. The company has a history of complaints and lawsuits in a range of issues from discrimination against women to sub par benefits. The latest action, filed in a Chicago court, charges the world’s largest retailer with violating minimum wage and overtime laws of some of its temporary workers. Like other suits against Walmart, this one could drag on through the court system for years. Reuters reports that the challenge is part of a growing trend on the part of workers who feel their rights have been violated across a broad range of issues. Reuters reports:
Wal-Mart has faced protests in various U.S. cities lately and some workers have planned to walk off the job on Black Friday, the busy shopping day right after Thanksgiving. Such actions are being sponsored by a groups including a contingent of workers called OUR Walmart that is trying to speak out about what it says are tough working conditions.
Low Expectations for Facebook Earnings
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) will release its earnings report after the closing bell today. Expectations are low, so the stock is unlikely to be knocked down from already poor levels. It is hardly worth repeating that the focus of Wall St. will be on whether the social network company has a single clue how it can make money with mobile product — either e-commerce or advertising-based ones. Facebook has said it will move into the e-commerce field, but there have been no signs at all the company can do that. Facebook’s shares trade at about $19, compared with a high of $45.00 and a low of $17.55 since its initial public offering. As some analysts say, any disappointment about the company’s downside may already be priced into the shares.
iPad Mini vs. Kindle Fire
As usual, the public and investors have made a circus out of the release of a new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) product. In this case, it is the iPad mini, which is supposed to compete with the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle and Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 7. The Nexus has not sold well, at least based on any public information. Therefore, it is unlikely to be a threat. The Kindle is another matter. Amazon claims the Kindle Fire HD is its best-selling item. The decision by Apple to release the mini is its first defensive move in memory. Apple usually leads the field with innovative products and is never flanked by competition. But the Kindle has been in the market for more than two years now, and no one can deny its success. Apple has been flanked and the mini, its solution, must do well for supporters of the stock to continue to completely defend their case.
Douglas A. McIntyre