BILL TO EXPAND JOB PROGRAM: Ten North Carolina Re­publican and Democratic representatives introduced a bill Wednesday that amends the Trade Adjustment Assistance program to provide automatic eligibility for textile and apparel workers who lose their jobs when their companies close because of foreign trade. The bill also expands the program, which is administered by the Department of Labor, to include dislocated workers whose companies shift production to nations such as China that don't have preferential trade agreements with the U.S. The bill increases the health care-coverage tax credit to 80 percent from 65 percent for eligible workers and boosts funding authorization to $440 million from $220 million. The current TAA authorization expires at the end of September, and Congress must reauthorize it.

CARD BACK AS JONES CFO: Jones Apparel Group Inc. has reinstituted Wesley R. Card as chief financial officer. Card succeeds Thimio Sotos, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. Card, 59, served as cfo from 1990 to March 2006. He will also continue as chief operating officer, a post he has held since 2002. He still reports to chief executive officer Peter Boneparth. "Wes was an exceptional cfo for Jones during the 15 years he held that position, and we are pleased to welcome him back to that role," Boneparth said.

NEW STOCK MONIKER: Federated Department Stores said it will trade under the ticker symbol "M" on the New York Stock Exchange beginning June 1, provided shareholders approve of the company's planned name change to Macy's Inc. The company's board said Wednesday that it will ask shareholders at the firm's annual meeting on May 18 to approve a corporate name change to Macy's Inc., instead of Macy's Group Inc., as previously announced. Shares of Federated have traded under the ticker symbol "FD" since 1992.

ACTIVE GAINS: Michael Ashley, the founder of one of the largest U.K. sporting goods retailers, Sports Direct, has purchased a 3.14 percent stake in Adidas. Under German law, shareholding must be disclosed after ownership exceeds 3 percent. Ashley off-loaded a 43 percent stake in Sports Direct when it made its debut on the London Stock Exchange last month.

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