Stocks lower...Spending is stronger...NBC ends contract with Halperin
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mostly lower as health care companies continue to decline and banks slip along with interest rates. Big drugmakers fell this morning. Merck slid 5 percent and Pfizer lost 1 percent. Bank of America lost 0.7 percent and Comerica shed 1 percent as banks and financial companies kidded. Technology companies continued to surge. Apple jumped 2 percent and Intel added 1.7 percent.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers boosted their spending by 1 percent in September, the biggest monthly gain in eight years. The surge was led by strong sales of autos and other durable goods. The Commerce Department says the sizable jump in consumer spending was up from a tiny 0.1 percent gain in August and was the best showing since an increase of 1.3 percent in August 2009. Income growth was also solid in September, rising by 0.4 percent as wages and salaries climbed.
ATLANTA (AP) — One of the nation’s largest railroads says it must replace millions of defective wooden railroad ties under its tracks because they’re degrading faster than expected. In a federal lawsuit, Norfolk Southern Railway blames an Alabama company of failing to use proper protective coating on more than 4.7 million railroad ties.
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News says it has terminated its contract with Mark Halperin, the political journalist who was accused of sexual harassment by several women when he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago. Since the charges came to light last week, publisher Penguin Press canceled a planned book by Halperin and John Heilemann about the 2016 election and HBO pulled the plug on a miniseries that would have been based on the book.
HERNDON, Va. (AP) — Strayer Education is tying up with Capella Education in a deal worth about $1.9 billion. This, as the U.S. Education Department considers rolling back Obama-era rules that would have erased federal loans for students defrauded by for-profit colleges. Strayer University and Capella University will continue to run as independent institutions with separate boards.