- - Sunday, September 23, 2012

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that it expects to hire more than 50,000 people this holiday season and will be offering more hours to its existing employees.

The world’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., said that this year’s seasonal hiring will be up slightly from last year’s, although it declined to give a precise figure for the increase.

The discounter operates more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. and employs about 1.4 million people nationwide. It is the nation’s largest private employer.

On Tuesday, Kohl’s Corp. announced that it would be hiring more than 52,700 people, up more than 10 percent from last year.

Kohl’s, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., operates 1,146 stores in 49 states. It also expects to hire 5,700 people for jobs at its distribution centers and 30 people for seasonal positions in its credit operations business. As of January, Kohl’s had about 30,000 full-time and 112,000 part-time associates.


Citigroup to pay $525K for too many futures

Citigroup Inc. will pay $525,000 to settle federal civil charges that it violated caps on the volume of speculative trades in wheat futures.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said Citigroup exceeded the limits several times in December 2009 on the Chicago Board of Trade. Citigroup also agreed in the settlement announced Friday to refrain from future violations of federal laws.

Farmers, grain processors and commercial bakery companies use wheat futures contracts to lock in prices and hedge against price swings. Financial investors use futures to bet on prices. Critics say that speculation can magnify price swings and artificially push up commodity prices.

Citigroup said in a statement that it was pleased to resolve the matter.


Google says it will shut music service in China

BEIJING — Google Inc. said Friday that it will close a music download service in China, further reducing its presence in the world’s most populous Internet market two years after the company closed its mainland search engine in a dispute over censorship and computer hacking.

Google said the 3-year-old service failed to achieve the market impact it wanted and will be shut down Oct. 19.

The service, which was available only to computers with Internet addresses in mainland China, was intended as a legal alternative to Chinese pirate music sites. It shared advertising revenues with global and Chinese music companies that have had their potential sales undercut by rampant unlicensed copying.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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