Supreme Court to consider Wal-Mart suit

The Supreme Court will consider whether to keep alive the largest job discrimination case in U.S. history, a lawsuit against Wal-Mart that grew from a half-dozen women to a class action that could involve billions of dollars for more than a half million female workers. Wal-Mart is trying to halt the lawsuit, with the backing of many other big companies concerned about rules for class-action cases — those in which people with similar interests increase their leverage by joining in a single claim. Class actions against discount seller Costco and the tobacco industry are among pending claims that the high court’s decision might affect. The suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. contends that women at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores are paid less and promoted less often than men. The case the high court accepted on Monday will not examine whether the claims are true, only whether they can be tried together.

Chrysler debuts mid-size sedan

Chrysler Group wants to show the world that it’s serious about mid-size sedans. After years of disappointing sales, the company on Monday launched production of the revamped Chrysler 200 — which replaces the Sebring — and the Dodge Avenger. The cars have a new look, new engines and hundreds of other changes designed to lure back customers who have fled Chrysler in recent years, scared off by its financial troubles and its reputation for poor quality. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company spent $300 million revamping the cars. Both go on sale this month, starting at just under $20,000.

Kellogg COO to replace CEO Jan. 1

Kellogg Co. announced Monday that its CEO, David Mackay, will retire Jan. 1 and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer John A. Bryant. After a year of upheaval for Kellogg, which makes Frosted Flakes, Pop-Tarts, Cheez-Its and many other top-selling snacks and cereal, it’s a big shift. But Bryant, a 12-year Kellogg employee, says he is dedicated to the company’s current plan for recovery. The world’s largest cereal maker, Kellogg was on a strong growth trajectory until 2009 when it hit tough times due to the recession and rising ingredient costs.

T-bill rates fall in Monday auction

The Treasury Department auctioned three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.145 percent, down from 0.175 percent last week. Six-month bills were auctioned at a discount rate of 0.185 percent, down from 0.21 percent last week. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,996.33 while a six-month bill sold for $9,990.65. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.147 percent for the three-month bills and 0.188 percent for the six-month bills. Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable-rate mortgages, rose to 0.28 percent last week from 0.27 percent the previous week.

From Herald news services