Microsoft Corp., CVS Health Corp., Macy’s and two other companies have agreed to review their policies on executive compensation at the request of the New York state pension fund and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and more in Friday’s Markets In Brief.
DiNapoli announced the agreements on Friday. Under the terms, the companies agree to consider what they pay all levels of employees as a factor when setting CEO salaries, instead of simply looking at what other CEOs earn.
Similar agreements were reached with Salesforce.com and TJX Companies Inc., the parent company of TJ Maxx.
The changes were sought by the state’s $207 billion pension fund, which DiNapoli oversees. The fund’s sizeable investments give DiNapoli significant leverage over publicly traded companies.
DiNapoli says the agreements are intended to address the rising disparity between typical worker wages and CEO salaries.
MARKETS IN BRIEF
US Consumer Spending Rises Solid 0.4% in November
Americans lifted their spending 0.4 percent in November from the previous month, a moderate gain that should sustain steady economic growth.
The Commerce Department says personal incomes rose 0.2 percent, down from 0.5 percent in the previous month.
Consumer spending jumped by the most in 13 months in October, and November’s solid gain on top of that points to healthy spending in the final three months of the year. Economists closely watch consumer spending because it accounts for about two-thirds of economic activity.
A measure of inflation slipped, rising 1.8 percent from a year ago, down from last month’s 2 percent annual gain.
That could add to recent pressure on the Federal Reserve to pause its interest rate hikes, since the Fed usually takes such steps to forestall rising inflation.
Trump Signs Bill to Sanction Nicaraguan Government
President Donald Trump is signing into law a bill to cut off resources to the government of Nicaragua and provides sanctions against countries that assist the Central American nation.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican who co-sponsored the bill, said in a press release that the legislation “supports the Nicaraguan people in their demands for rule of law, human rights and free, fair elections by denying resources to their oppressors.”
Trump signed the bill a day after Nicaragua announced that it was expelling international experts investigating allegations of human rights abuses by security forces during anti-government protests earlier this year. The demonstrators had demanded President Daniel Ortega leave office.
More than 320 people were killed in those demonstrations.
US Fundraising Site Suspends Palestinian Boycott Account
A U.S. firm that makes fundraising software says it has suspended the account of the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel following a complaint by a pro-Israel group that the campaign has links to militant groups.
Donorbox confirmed early Friday that the BDS campaign’s account was temporarily blocked while it investigates the allegations.
The decision comes in response to a complaint from Shurat HaDin, an Israeli advocacy group that files lawsuits around the world against Israel’s foes, submitted in coordination with Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry.
San Francisco-based Donorbox says its decision does not mean that it considers BDS to be a “nefarious” organization. It says it is merely suspended the account while it conducts a review.
The BDS movement called the Israeli move “McCarthyite.”
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