Stocks lower: Weaker earnings from JP Morgan is helping bring down the market. Dow is off about 130 points.
JP Morgan profit falls: Lingering mortgage troubles and weak investment banking results are behind the 4 percent drop in third-quarter earnings. Even so, the banking giant beat analysts' expectations. (DealBook)
Jobless claims barely budge: More evidence of an anemic employment market, with weekly filings falling by 1,000, to 404,000. Real job growth would require the number to be under 375,000. (AP)
BlackBerry service restored: That's according to Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. The system has been on the fritz for more than a day. (CNNMoney)
Slovakia approves bailout plan: Crisis averted with all 17 euro-zone nations signing off on the expansion of a fund that will somehow aid in the Greek debt situation.
Insider sentencing: Hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam will serve 11 years, the longest-ever prison sentence for insider trading. From DealBook:
Calling him "the modern face of illegal insider trading," prosecutors accused Mr. Rajaratnam of using a corrupt network of well-placed tipsters - including former executives of Intel, I.B.M. and the consulting firm McKinsey & Company - to illicitly gain about $64 million. The 11-year sentence was near the low end of the range of roughly 19 to 24 years requested by the government.
Startups face cash crunch: Lots of new companies were formed recently in Silicon Valley, but they're now struggling to get financing. From the WSJ:
The average valuations of young companies have dropped recently to $3 million to $5 million, from $6 million to $8 million earlier this year, says Naval Ravikant, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor who runs AngelList, a website where young companies can apply to seek "angel" or "seed" money. The start-up financing market "is getting weaker by the week, no question," he says. While AngelList has 50 to 100 start-ups applying for funding daily through its site, only one to two are getting financing, he estimates. "The survivor rate of these companies is way down."
NBA labor talks get mediator: It's the same guy who worked with NFL owners and the players union. He'll meet today with league and union leaders. (NYT)
Blue Shield gives back money: The California-based insurer says it will return $283 million to policyholders in December. From the LAT:
Blue Shield's action comes as insurance companies face the prospect next year of returning millions of dollars collected from policyholders but never spent on healthcare. Under new federal regulations, insurers must spend at least 80% of consumers' premiums on medical care and not reserve that income for administrative costs or profit. But with consumers going to doctors less and often skipping treatment during tough times, insurers may not meet the 80% requirement and be obligated to issue refunds.
Long Beach to ban marijuana dispensaries: The action comes after an appellate court ruled that the city's medical marijuana regulations violate U.S. laws forbidding distribution and sale of the drug. The ruling is being appealed. (Press-Telegram)