Stocks rise...then fall: Bank stocks taking it on the chin. Dow is down about 30 points in early trading.
Bernanke signals more Fed action: The Federal Reserve chairman appears ready to support steps to ramp up the recovery. That includes bond purchases that could lower long-term interest rates to stimulate buying and spending. (AP)
Tame inflation: Socal consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in September and were up only 0.4 percent over in the last year, the lowest annual increase since October 2009. (OC Register)
No increase in Social Security: Not with near-zero inflation. That would be the second straight year retirees haven't had an inflation adjustment. (CNNMoney.com)
Increase in retail sales: September was the third straight monthly increase, though the 7.3 percent gain isn't quite as good as it seems because sales in September 2009 were so weak. Still, it's a hopeful sign. From Bloomberg:
The National Retail Federation is forecasting holiday sales will be the best in four years and companies are planning on stepping up hiring as a result. Toys "R" Us Inc., based in Wayne, New Jersey, last month said it would hire about 45,000 seasonal employees, doubling its U.S. workforce. The increase in seasonal employees is 10,000 more than last year.
Venture funding falls: L.A. investments totaled $170 million during the third quarter, way down from the $407.2 million in the previous three months. Nationally, venture investment was down 31 percent from the second quarter. (SocalTech.com)
CVS fined $75 million: The nation's largest pharmacy chain illegally sold drug traffickers large amounts of an ingredient used to make methamphetamine. The ingredient is found in cold and allergy medications. From the LAT:
The company admitted that CVS stores in California, Nevada and 23 other states were vulnerable for more than a year to criminals who bought enough PSE through repeated purchases to make methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant abused in epidemic proportions and linked to violence and other crimes. CVS blamed the problem on the flawed implementation of an electronic monitoring system that was supposed to guard against excessive purchases.
Howard Hughes complex gets facelift: The seven-story structure that Hughes used to build the Spruce Goose will have five sound stages. It's part of the plan by developer Wayne Ratkovich, who is completing the $32.4-million purchase of the Playa Vista property. (LAT)
MGM creditors want more time: They had until next Friday to vote on a prepackaged bankruptcy plan, but that was before Lionsgate offered up a last-minute merger proposal. (LAT)
Mattel misses expectations: Stock is way down this morning after the El Segundo-based toymaker reported disappointing revenues, largely coming out of the company's Fisher-Price division. (Bloomberg)
Videogame sales keep sliding: They were down 8 percent in September compared with a year earlier. Sales have been consistently off much of the year. (Tech Trader)