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Commission recalls children's jewelry for high cadmium levels

About 137,000 pieces of children's jewelry sold at two stores popular with preteen girls - Justice and Limited Too - were recalled Tuesday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for high levels of the toxic metal cadmium. The recall involves 19 styles of necklaces, bracelets and earrings distributed by Tween Brands, which had no immediate comment.

Catering hall settles overtime lawsuit; will pay $93,000

A Bethpage catering hall has agreed to pay $93,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that the business failed to pay 14 employees minimum wage and overtime. The Department of Labor sued Sterling Caterers & Restaurant in U.S. District Court in Central Islip in September 2008. The suit came after the agency said its Long Island office found that between Sept. 25, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2007, the business failed to pay workers overtime even when they worked more than 40 hours a week. The settlement includes $61,667 in back wages and the rest in damages and interest. Parkash Lal Raj,Sterling's president, denied any wrongdoing and said the company settled to avoid a costly legal fight.

- Carrie Mason-Draffen

Stocks gain on news of high profits for Alcoa, CSX

The stock market got a shot of confidence from the start of second-quarter earnings season. Investors sent stocks sharply higher Tuesday after better-than-expected profits from aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. and railroad operator CSX Corp. The Dow Jones industrial average logged its sixth straight gain, rising 146.75, or 1.4 percent, to 10,363.02. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 16.59, or 1.5 percent, to 1,095.34, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 43.67, or 2 percent, to 2,242.03. One company whose shares struggled despite the broad gains was Apple Inc. The stock dropped $5.49, or 2.1 percent, to $251.80 a day after Consumer Reports said it would not recommend the new iPhone because of its antenna design. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the U.S. trade deficit increased to its widest level in 18 months as an increase in exports was outpaced by rising imports, a sign that suggests companies are betting that consumers will spend more in coming months. The surging value of imports caused the trade deficit to reach an 18-month peak. It rose 4.8 percent to $42.3 billion, the largest deficit since November 2008, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Also Tuesday, the Labor Department announced that job openings dropped in May from the previous month and layoffs edged up, fresh evidence that employers are reluctant to add workers.

Citigroup to sell businesses, give up management of funds

Citigroup Inc. said Tuesday that it will sell its private equity businesses and the management of certain funds to two private equity firms. Financial terms for the deals, expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.

From staff and wire reports

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