Opening Bell: 10.20.10

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Morgan Stanley Posts 67% Drop In Profit (MarketWatch)
For the third quarter, Morgan Stanley said net income came in at $313 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with $936 million, or 50 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. The bank was expected to make 15 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Estimates ranged from a profit of 28 cents a share to a loss of a penny a share.

Wells Fargo Reports Record Profit (Bloomberg)
Net income rose 3.1 percent to $3.34 billion, or 60 cents a diluted share, from $3.24 billion, or 56 cents, in the same period a year earlier, the San Francisco-based bank said today in a statement. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated profit of 56 cents. Revenue dropped 7.1 percent to $20.9 billion.

BlackRock Profits Beat Estimates (WSJ)
BlackRock Inc.'s third-quarter earnings rose 74%, beating analysts' forecasts, as the asset-management firm again saw its results boosted by December's $13.5 billion purchase of Barclays Global Investors. The "robust third-quarter results reflected the breadth of our business globally, strong performance in both index and actively managed products, and increasing demand," said Larry Fink.

Wall Street Bailout Returns 8.2% Profit Beating Treasury Bonds (Bloomberg)
The government has earned $25.2 billion on its investment of $309 billion in banks and insurance companies, an 8.2 percent return over two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That beat U.S. Treasuries, high-yield savings accounts, money- market funds and certificates of deposit. Investing in the stock market or gold would have paid off better.

Mark Wahlberg And Malcolm Gladwell Plot CIA Drama (Deadline)
Set in Cold War Berlin, the untitled project, to be written by Randolph, centers on a missionary who becomes involved in the CIA.

Dental Records Confirm Body is Missing Mich. Bank Executive (CBS)
The body of missing bank executive, David Widlak, has been found in a swampy area just northeast of Detroit, according to authorities who say dental records have confirmed that the severely decayed body is that of the 62-year-old banker who went missing last month.

Osborne to Slash Jobs, Tax Banks in U.K. Budget Cuts (Bloomberg)
“Today’s the day when Britain steps back from the brink,” Osborne told lawmakers in the House of Commons in London today as he outlined plans to virtually eliminate a 156 billion-pound ($245 billion) budget deficit with average cuts in government departments of 19 percent. It’s “a day of rebuilding when we set out a four-year plan to put our public services and welfare state on a sustainable footing,” he said.

Bank of America Resists Rebuying Bad Loans (WSJ)
Brian Moynihan quickly vowed to push back on the repurchase requests. "We will diligently fight this," Mr. Moynihan told analysts Tuesday. A spokesman, responding to Monday's letter, added that "We're not responsible for the poor performance of loans as a result of a bad economy. We don't believe we've breached our obligations as servicer. We will examine every avenue to vigorously defend ourselves."

Rattner Deal Discussed In Pay-to-Play Probe (WSJ)
It was unclear whether the two sides were close to an agreement or far apart. The negotiations follow a decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission, pursuing a parallel probe, to suspend its efforts to conclude a deal with Mr. Rattner while Attorney Gereral Andrew Cuomo's office pursues its negotiations, another person familiar with the matter said.