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Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief

October 10, 2012, 1:23 PM

Wednesday Afternoon Business Brief
  • Some discouraging words on the outlook from Alcoa and Chevron are weighing on stock market sentiment. The Dow has dropped more than 100 points.
  • The Federal Reserve is reporting that nearly all parts of its regions see stronger economic growth helped by an improving housing market since the middle of August. At the same time, consumer spending was flat or only up slightly in most districts.
  • The Labor Department says the nation's employers advertised slightly fewer jobs in August than July. At the same time, they filled the most jobs reported in three months.
  • Federal safety regulators are issuing an urgent warning. They say car owners whose air bags have been replaced in the past three years may have had dangerous counterfeit bags installed. Only a relatively small percentage of cars on the road are at risk, including models where counterfeit airbags are known to be available. Even so, that could affect thousands of people.
  • Wal-Mart says it will accelerate expansion of small stores, particularly its Neighborhood Market stores. Comments coming at a meeting of Wall Street analysts near its Arkansas headquarters reflect an effort to better compete with a variety of rivals from dollar stores to drug chains.

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