PODCAST: Happy Halloween and a new Disney princess

Aaron, two and half, rests on a pumpkin during the Halloween Harvest Festival at Pierce Farm on October 30, 2012 in Woodland Hills, California.

At last, the number of people without power because the storm is going down this morning. The latest reported figure is about six million still in the dark, down from a high of eight and a half million. Utilities across the northeast are working like mad to get the power back everywhere.

As the storm passes in New York, the opening bell rang again today on the New York Stock Exchange. A two-day shutdown on Wall Street is almost unheard of -- 9/11 shut down trading for four days. Not surprisingly, many folks are treating this week as a learning experience.

A new measure from the Chicago Fed shows business activity in the Midwest continued to contract, but barely, in the first part of this month. Earnings today from what is by far the world's largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal: Profits were the lowest in three years. The company is cutting its dividend and its outlook based on slow demand from China and Europe. General motors announced a strong profit for the latest quarter. Like many other companies, GM says its working hard to trim losses in Europe,but sales here are solid.

If you're looking to buy a car anytime soon, you might feel a bit of deja vu when you hit the showroom.

So, you've had your fill of the big-time business news, and there was plenty of it today. And you'd be forgiven for thinking today is mostly just important because everyone is relieved to get their stock trades in on the last day of the month. But that also makes it, of course, Halloween. Before the storm hit, my New York based colleague Jeremy Hobson went down to a Halloween store in Manhattan's east village to meet someone whose job is perfectly suited for this holiday.

Snow White, Cinderella, and introducing the latest Disney princess: Princess Leia. Disney is buying Lucasfilm -- the entire Star Wars franchise -- for $4 billion. Disney says it will start making a new Star Wars movie to hit theaters in 2015.

And hey -- let's not forget about the fans. If you have a Star Wars fan in your life, you know they take this stuff pretty seriously. YouTube is filling up with reactions. My four-year-old's choice for Halloween tonight: C-3PO.

 

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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