Big ticket items selling
Americans are still buying big ticket items, even in a tough economy. Orders for things like washing machines and refrigerators rose the most in 6 months -- jumping almost 2% in September -- according to the U.S. Commerce Department. That number beat analyst expectations. Some economists say it's a sign that manufacturing is still in pretty decent shape.
Ford: 2nd highest profit ever
/*Ford*/ came out with blockbuster earnings today, posting its second highest profit in its 108-year history. However, it was blasted by /*Consumer Reports*/ over some of its vehicles. The magazine says drivers reported problems with Ford's new high-tech dashboard touch-screens. Also, the new Explorer SUV, the Ford Focus, and the Ford Fiesta all scored below average for reliability. Japanese automakers dominated the study, capturing 9 out of the top 10 spots.
Bank of America CEO "incensed"
Brian Moynihan, CEO of /*Bank of America*/, said he is "incensed" by public criticism of his company over its new $5 debit card fees. Bloomberg's learned he is pushing back by reminding local leaders of Bank of America's contributions to their economies, whether it's through banking or volunteering in the community. The bank, which received two taxpayer bailouts, has started an outreach campaign. The firm's 135 market presidents have written letters and made about 1,500 calls and visits to local officials and community leaders explaining how much the bank helps the local economy.