Stocks edge lower: Improving economic numbers can't shake the market from its current sell-off. Weak earnings aren't helping. Dow is down about 10 points.
Better-than-expected economy: Third-quarter gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2 percent, the result of a healthier housing market and solid consumer and defense spending. From AP:
"Growth came in a little higher than we had feared, largely because of the big jump in federal spending," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. "But the economy is still not growing rapidly enough to create sufficient jobs to reduce the unemployment rate." The economy grew faster last quarter in part because consumer spending rose at a 2 percent annual rate, up from a 1.5 percent rate in the second quarter. Spending on homebuilding and renovations increased at an annual rate of more than 14 percent.
Consumers more upbeat: Sentiment is at its highest level in five years, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's index. But it was slightly below analyst expectations. (Reuters)
Plummeting gas prices: An average gallon of regular in the L.A. area is $4.313, according to the Auto Club, which is nearly 40 cents lower than the record high earlier this month.
Toyota widens global lead: The Japanese automaker sold 7.4 million vehicles around the world in the third quarter - 450,000 more than GM. (AP)
Sumner Redstone talks succession: The Viacom chairman tells the WSJ that his daughter Shari is in the mix, despite conventional wisdom that Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman was assured the role. Redstone, who lives in Beverly Hills, fought publicly with his daughter a few years ago.
What will be the deciding factor? "It depends on my view of the talents of each person and also their relationship to my family. My family will ultimately inherit the business," he said. Mr. Redstone's entertainment empire, which includes CBS, MTV and Comedy Central, is one of the largest in the U.S. Precisely who would control it when he is no longer around has been the topic of a decadeslong struggle.
More money to oppose Prop 30: Charles Munger Jr. is shelling out another $13 million in the effort to defeat Gov. Brown's tax measure. He's also helped bankroll anti-union Proposition 32. From Capitol Alert:
The donations, made over the last two days, brings Munger's stake in the measures to some $35 million. The money was sent to the Small Business Action Committee, the same organization that has received an $11 million contribution from an unknown Arizona-based group that has not disclosed its donors. That transaction has drawn interest from California's Fair Political Practices Commission, which went to court Thursday to compel Americans for Responsible Leadership to provide more documentation before the Nov. 6 election. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Forever 21 under scrutiny: Federal officials say that the L.A.-based clothing retailer has not complied with a subpoena for documents about its contractors. The company is under investigation for allegedly working with suppliers that don't pay workers minimum wage or overtime. (KPCC)