Stocks have been mixed today. Shares have gotten a boost from an Institute for Supply Management report showing manufacturing activity picked up in September. The Dow was about 50 points higher in afternoon trading, while the S&P 500 also has moved back into positive territory. The Nasdaq remains lower.
- New York's top banking regulator is promising more oversight of bank consultants, including large accounting firms. State Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky cites an old, ignored state law that gives his office "the power to drive reform in the industry." He says consultants are hired by banks to straighten out problems but can be conflicted about taking tough stands with the clients who are paying them.
- Citigroup says its trading activities on foreign exchange markets are under investigation by U.S. government agencies and other regulators. The inquiries were disclosed in a quarterly report from the bank. Citi is just the latest bank to have authorities look into its foreign exchange practices. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC and UBS AG all have said they are the targets of investigations.
- The Container Store is a hit in its New York Stock Exchange debut. Shares doubled in morning trading, jumping from $18.08 to more than $36. Trading activity was heavy, with nearly 10 million shares changing hands. The retailer priced its initial public offering of 12.5 million shares at $18 apiece. That was above the projected price range of $14 to $16 per share.
- An order barring domestic horse slaughter has expired and plants in New Mexico and Missouri are preparing to open as early as Monday. Attorneys for the Humane Society of the United States and other groups are suing the Department of Agriculture over its permitting procedures. Today they filed a motion seeking an extension of the restraining order. Animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes have been divided over the most humane way to deal with horse overpopulation.