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Afternoon Business Brief

October 4, 2010, 1:28 PM

Afternoon Business Brief
Analysts say they aren't surprised that stocks are falling today. They say Wall Street was due for a pause from a historic rally in September. One investment strategist says the market has been trading in a broad range over the past six months and, with last month's 10.4 gain, a pullback was natural.
  • Blame a drop in U.S. factory orders in August on the volatile transportation sector. The half-percent dip was the third decrease in the past four months. Meanwhile, the number of people signing contracts to buy homes rose in August for a second straight month.
  • President Barack Obama is reaching out to big business in a new program that links top companies with community colleges. Obama says the plan aims to build a nationwide network to maximize workforce development. It has the backing of big-name companies such as Gap and McDonald's.
  • The Federal Reserve has two new members. Janet Yellen becomes vice chairwoman, the Fed's second-highest ranking official, and Sarah Bloom Raskin is now a governor. When the Fed meets next month, many economists believe it will announce a program to buy more government debt.
  • Toyota says it has fixed about 3.7 million vehicles in the United States that have been part of the company's massive safety recalls. The auto company has been working to rebuild its reputation for safety in the wake of more than 10 million recalls worldwide.

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