Business news briefs
Walmart hires new
chief image maker
To continue burnishing its image, Walmart has replaced a former Clinton White House aide with a former Bush staff member. It said Dan Bartlett, an adviser to President George W. Bush, will be its new executive over corporate affairs. He succeeds Leslie Dach, who played a role in reinventing Walmart's image in the face of attacks by labor groups and others during his seven-year tenure.
HP 2Q earnings
Hewlett-Packard's recovery efforts got help from higher-than-expected, though tepid, second-quarter earnings. HP earned $1.1 billion, or 55 cents per share, down 32 percent from $1.6 billion, or 80 cents per share, last year. If not for certain items unrelated to its ongoing business, the company would have earned 87 cents, topping the average estimate of 81 cents among analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Target's 1Q profit
drops 29 percent
Target posted a 29 percent drop in first-quarter profit as it struggled with weak sales, particularly in clothing. It earned $498 million, or 77 cents per share, for the three months ended May 4, compared with $697 million, or $1.04 a year earlier. Sales rose 1 percent.
Automakers to cut
Detroit automakers are largely forgoing the traditional two-week summer break at factories to meet growing demand for new vehicles. Ford will shut for only one week this summer. GM will idle its factories only for short periods, while Chrysler plans a two-week break at just four of its 10 plants.
Fed eyes slowdown
in stimulus efforts
Meeting minutes show several Federal Reserve policymakers favor slowing efforts to maintain low long-term interest rates as early as summer if the economy shows strong growth. But they appeared at odds over what evidence would demonstrate such gains. Still, Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress it is too soon to slow stimulus efforts.
has anti-gay bias
A gay-rights group filed a complaint in Illinois against Exxon Mobil, accusing it of anti-gay bias in handling job applications. Human Rights by Freedom to Work contends Exxon was sent two nearly identical resumes for a job opening. One applicant made clear she was a gay-rights activist and had higher grades than the other applicant, but allegedly Exxon tried to contact only the applicant with lower grades.
Fox to bring messy
workplace to TV
This time "you're fired" is more than a Donald Trump catchphrase. Fox is turning the firing of real people from real jobs into a prime-time program. On Thursday it will begin airing "Does Someone Have to Go?" a series where employees at small businesses are compelled to rat out underperforming colleagues.