Finance Beat 2.15.2012

by Chet Galloway

Wall Street recap

Stocks started out the week higher, after positive news from Greece reassured the markets the troubled nation was coming up with plans to avoid financial collapse, despite painful austerity measures. All the indices increased by less than one percent. Tuesday morning saw the markets return most of Monday’s gains. The Dow Jones industrial average sank 47 points to 12,820, the Nasdaq fell by 15 points to 2,915 and the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell by nearly seven points to 1,353.

The yield on the 10-Year Treasury Note declined by almost 2 percent to a yield of 1.99 percent.

Apple stock passes $500 mark

Apple stock traded at more than $500 on Monday, for the first time in its history. Trading up to $503.82, this is a huge milestone for the company. Apple built its brand by making products people love, and made it cool and trendy.

Even with the absence of Steve Jobs, investors are quite confident in the earning power and innovational talent that has kept Apple going all these years. In an article from Yahoo Finance, former chief of retail sales Ron Johnson said Apple’s “best days are still in the future.” Johnson is the current CEO of J.C. Penney.

Following strong criticism, Apple announced it asked the Fair Labor Association to conduct special audits of assembly suppliers such as the Foxconn plant in China. Johnson said “a lot of attention” was given to these issues while he worked at the company. Corporate governance and labor experts say Apple can be a leader and set good examples in this area because of its massive size in the marketplace.

—Compiled by Staff Writer Chet Galloway