Big name retailers push a plan to improve factory safety overseas. That and more are what's making business news Thursday.
The Dow industrials (^DJI) jumped 149 points yesterday, its second straight triple digit gain. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 15 points and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 28.
A number of leading American retailers are reportedly near a deal to establish a $50 million, five-year fund to improve safety conditions in the garment factories they use in Bangladesh.
The Wall Street Journal says the agreement hinges on the government there agreeing to certain accountability measures to oversee the safety improvements. Walmart Stores (WMT), Gap (GPS), Target (TGT), Macy's (M) and Sears Holdings (SHLD) are among the companies backing this deal.
Gold prices have slumped to their lowest level in nearly three years, and that's crushing some mining stocks. Newmont Mining (NEM) is down 41 percent so far this year. Barrick Gold (ABX) has tumbled 57 percent.
The Journal also reports that Verizon (VZ) is in talks to acquire Canadian mobile phone company Mobilicity, and a second, smaller company. Canadian officials have recently eased rules on foreign ownership in an effort to spur competition.
Shares of Clearwire (CLWR) have soared this year as Sprint (S) and Dish Network (DISH) waged a bidding war. But now Dish is dropping out, and Clearwire is likely to retreat.
On the Earnings Front
Bed, Bath & Beyond (BBBY) says earnings edged lower, but revenue rose -- both in line with expectations.
Office furniture company Herman Miller's (MLHR) net nearly doubled from a year ago, but the company's forecast for the current quarter fell well below Street expectations.
A trio of IPOs debut today, but in a sign of the market turmoil, all three were priced at the low end or below expectations. HD Supply, which was spun off from Home Depot (HD), goes on sale at $18 a share. The video advertising network Tremor Video is priced at $10, and there's also an IPO from tech-equipment seller CDW, which hits the market at $17 a share, well below recent expectations.
Hopefully they didn't pay consultants to come up with ticker symbol -- CDW.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
17 Things You Should Always Buy New
Market Minute: Retailers Push to Improve Working Conditions in Bangladesh
When it comes to your safety, you should never shop secondhand. Minor scratches or dings in helmets that you might be unable to spot right away can cause their safety rating to fall.
Cribs can stand a lot of abuse from cranky toddlers, but you want to make sure your children aren't put in danger by a potentially damaged bed. According to The New York Times, issues with unsafe cribs led to 150 deaths between 2007 and 2010.
Buying tip:Squidoo recently put together a list of the top ten baby cribs for 2013.
Any small defect in a secondhand laptop will only get exacerbated over time. You also don't have the luxury of a warranty or customer service guarantee if you don't buy it new yourself.
Buying tip: If you are looking to buy something on the cheaper side, most retailers offer refurbished products that are still covered by warranties. And major electronics stores like Best Buy offer steep discounts on display models. Call around to ask beforehand.
Many websites advise against buying shoes used because they've probably already been formed to the foot of the person who wore them before you. Especially with running shoes, this could lead to discomfort or injuries.
Buying tip:Duke Health recommends taking a good look at the sole and arch of your next pair of athletic shoes to make sure you get the best fit.
Blenders require their blades to be super sharp to be functioning at their best. If you buy one secondhand, it might take longer for the duller parts to puree the berries and bananas going into your smoothie.
Besides the hygiene issues that come with a secondhand swimsuit, these garments tend to wear out very quickly. Your bikini won't do a good job covering you up if it starts to get saggy the first time it's hit by a wave.
Buying tip: If you're looking to invest in a bathing suit that won't go out of style in one season, look at style guides like these to help you make a wise purchase.
Wet suits need to fit well and they often wear out over time, making them less likely to keep you warm underwater. The suits aren't cheap, but don't risk getting chilly on your next scuba trip with a used one.
Vacuums are one of the most-used appliances and they don't last forever. If you need something that still has the suction power to clean the dust around your whole house, it might be best to buy a new one yourself.
Buying tip: If you do want to save money by buying used, make sure you test it beforehand and follow these other tips, too.
Software usually only has codes to be used on a limited number of computers, and there's a chance you could get ripped off if you buy a used copy. It's best to buy straight from the manufacturer to make sure you get a working version.