The Department of Justice is going after Apple and five publishing companies, suing them for colluding to raise e-book prices. Amazon, the current leader in e-book sales thanks to the Kindle and the company's early domination of the market, takes a loss on their $9.99 books in order to pull in customers. Apple took a different route with its e-book store, allowing publishers to set the price and then taking a commission, also known as agency pricing.
Although the economy is still improving at a glacial pace, as evidenced by this month's slowing job growth, companies and CEOs have returned to their pre-recession heights, with a stock market at a four-year high to match. In 2007, S&P 500 companies created an average of $378,000 in revenue for every employee. Last year, that number was $420,000. Top executives are doing okay too—the median income of the top 100 CEOs is $14.4 million.
The economy added 120,000 nonfarm jobs in March—far less impressive growth than February's 240,000 jobs, which were revised upward from last months estimate of 227,000. The unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent to 8.2 percent, according to today's Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Economists had predicted that 205,000jobs would be added in March. The numbers released today are far lower than expectations, and the +150,000 threshold needed to keep job growth at pace with population growth.
In the week that ended March 31, jobless claims droppedto 357,000—the lowest they have been in four years, according to new numbers from the Labor Department. Pennsylvania posted the biggest drop in claims—1,956—while Texas posted the highest jump—4,185. The steady gains that have been happening since the fall are likely due to fewer layoffs and the strengthening of the labor market, as proved once again by last month's private-sector jobs numbers.