The stock market's latest rally appears to be fading today, thanks in part to some disappointing earnings. Caterpillar is leading the Dow lower after reporting a steep drop in its third quarter earnings and cutting its earnings forecast. The bluechip index was off more than 60 points in afternoon trading, while the broader indexes are also down.
- Proposed new rules would allow startup companies to sell stock over the Internet to small-time investors. "Crowdfunding" has been a popular financing approach for independent films and art projects, and this year Congress said startups should be allowed to try it. The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted 5-0 to send crowdfunding rules out for public comment. Final rules could be approved next year.
- A lawyer for the city of Detroit has told a court that "there's nothing left to do" to fix the city's finances, and bankruptcy is the only way out. At the opening of an extraordinary trial to determine whether the city is eligible to restructure its $18-billion debt, city attorney Bruce Bennett promised to present a "mountain of evidence showing the insolvency of the city." An attorney for Detroit's pension funds presented documents she says show the bankruptcy "was a forgone conclusion."
- The nation's biggest dispenser of prescription drugs in nursing homes is settling a whistleblower case. A 2010 lawsuit accused Omnicare of giving kickbacks to nursing homes in return for patient referrals. The company continues to deny any wrongdoing, but says it has agreed to pay $120 million "to avoid continued litigation" over the matter. The federal government stands to get about $84 million of the settlement, with the former Omnicare pharmacist who filed the lawsuit set to get as much as $36 million.
- European Union rules says there are only a few places where the famously smelly English blue cheese called stilton can be made, and they don't include the village of Stilton. EU rules say the name can only apply to cheese made in the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Stilton lies outside the area. Still the owner of a pub in the village who makes a blue-veined cheese is vowing to press on with a challenge to the rule.