Stocks Cool, iPad Heats Up

The bulls took a breather yesterday as the Dow lost 69 points, but closing well off session lows.

Investors focused on global growth concerns and comments from an executive at BHP Billiton that Chinese demand for iron ore, used to make steel, was cooling.

This morning, futures are indicating a higher open as investors await the latest data on sales of pre-owned homes.

In corporate news, the new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad is hot - literally.  A record three million devices were sold over the weekend, but Consumer Reports says the tablet is also "physically" hot; it can heat to up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit. That's safe, but close to the 120-degree point at which laptops could cause burns if in contact with bare skin for a long period.  The likely culprit for the new iPad's temperature is the high-resolution screen and its increased demand for processing power.

Speaking of hot tech companies, Facebook is getting an unfriendly reputation in the workplace.

There are reports of several companies asking job applicants to hand over their personal Facebook login information, including passwords, during job interviews.  They want to screen applicants' personal profiles for inappropriate remarks, relationships, and pictures.

Other employers are asking job applicants to log onto their Facebook page from a company computer, rather than asking for the passwords. Still others recommend job candidates "friend" a human resources manager so the company can get more in-depth access to the job applicant's social style.

Is this legal?  Tricky question. Facebook says giving out login information violates its terms of service. The Department of Justice says it's a federal crime to enter a social networking site in violation of the terms of service. But in recent testimony, Justice also said violations would not be prosecuted. Meanwhile, the social media legality issue is being addressed in proposed legislation in Maryland and Illinois, with the states working to forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.