PODCAST: Central banks join forces

The euro sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Payroll services firm ADP said today private employers added 206,000 jobs in November. And this morning, we get an early look at the employment picture from the job placement company Challenger Gray and Christmas. The headline: the number of planned layoffs dropped about a percent from October to November, and they're down 13 percent from a year ago -- both good things.

Word also today that worker productivity rose at the fastest clip in more than a year.

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes jumped in October to the highest level in a year. But the gain follows three months of declines and isn't enough to signal a housing recovery.

Applications for home mortgages slumped for a third week in a row last week, hit by a drop in demand for refinancing, an industry group said Wednesday.

Asian markets fell. Even with news that Japan's industrial production rose nearly 2.5 percent last month.

And we got some news from Beijing this morning... That China's Central Bank is cutting the amount of money it requires banks to hold in reserve. That's to help boost the flow of credit around the world... To counteract the uncertainty coming largely from Europe.

Los Angeles police say more than 200 people were arrested during a raid of the Occupy LA encampment.

Spirits are down in Cincinnati. The city just lost the headquarters of the banana company Chiquita to Charlotte, North Carolina thanks to state incentives of more than $20 million. Chiquita has been headquartered in Cincinnati for 28 years.

In Washington today, there's a vote scheduled on whether to speed up the process of unionizing businesses.

With record holiday shopping this year, there's also expected to be a lot of shoplifting. And Ad Week has a list of the most shoplifted items. Chanel Number 5 perfume is on there, as well as Axe body spray -- I guess thieves like to smell good. They also apparently like the Let's Rock Elmo toy. And the most stolen item is stolen from the grocery store: choice cuts of steak.

San Francisco's new law banning free toys with unhealthy food goes into effect tomorrow. The target of course was McDonald's Happy Meals. But Mickey D's has found a way around it. Kids and parents will be able to order their Happy Meals, and pay an extra 10 cents for the toy. So the new law will actually bring in even more money for McDonald's -- although the company says the extra dimes will benefit its charity

About the author

Mary Dooe is an associate producer, and works for both the radio and digital teams.

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