U.S. stocks rallied, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest gain since January, on better-than-forecast economic data and speculation the Federal Reserve will signal plans to maintain record low interest rates.
After Hennes & Mauritz AB and Inditex SA, Europe’s two largest clothing retailers, committed to an agreement to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh, pressure is mounting on U.S. retailers to sign the pact.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it won’t accept an agreement “at this time” to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh that’s supported by labor monitoring groups and was signed by several retailers this week.
When a fire at the Tazreen garment factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people in November, many wondered what more it would take before something would be done to improve labor conditions in the country, the world’s No. 2 clothing exporter.
Bangladesh authorities arrested Sohel Rana, the owner of the building where at least 362 people were killed when the factory complex collapsed on April 24, the biggest disaster in the country’s garment industry.