Financial 411: Supreme Court to Hear Case Against Wal-Mart
Monday, December 06, 2010
Head of Pfizer Steps Down
The CEO of New York-based Pfizer, the world's biggest drug-maker, has stepped down unexpectedly. After four-and-a-half years on the job, Jeffrey Kindler, 55, said he needs to "recharge." Pfizer has struggled recently to develop new blockbuster drugs, as patents on big moneymakers like Lipitor expire. During his tenure, Kindler closed plants and laid off workers, while also acquiring other companies, like Wyeth.
Investors, however, were not impressed. The company's stock price has languished, and is now 35 percent lower than when Kindler was named CEO. Ian Read, who has run Pfizer's worldwide pharmaceutical operations, will become CEO.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's unusual appearance on CBS' 60 Minutes yesterday to defend quantitative easing did not move investors. It also didn't help that Germany moved to close off debate on an increase to a Euro bailout fund.
The Dow dropped 20 points, or 17 percent, closing at 11,362. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both shed about a tenth of a percent. The S&P ended the day at 1,223, and the Nasdaq closed at 2,595.
Supreme Court to Hear Wal-Mart Case
The Supreme Court has announced it will hear a case that involves the world's largest retailer. The case is also the nation's biggest employment discrimination lawsuit. A class action lawsuit against Walmart alleges the company unfairly discriminated against hundreds of thousands of women in both pay and promotions. Suzanne Goldberg is a professor at Columbia Law School, where she directs the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. She traces the timeline of the lawsuit, and explains what's at stake.