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U.S. economy notches record growth in third quarter [Reuters]
Gross domestic product rebounded at a 33.1% annualized rate last quarter, the Commerce Department said in its advance estimate on Thursday. That was the fastest pace since the government started keeping records in 1947 and followed a historic shrinkage rate of 31.4% in the second quarter…. But U.S. output remains below its level in the fourth quarter of 2019, a fact Trump’s Democratic challenger Joe Biden is almost certain to highlight along with signs that the growth spurt is fast petering out.

U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to 751,000, their lowest level since March [CNBC]
“We had expected that the steep decline we saw in claims last week would be too big to repeat, but downside momentum in claims remains intact,” Thomas Simons, an economist at Jefferies, wrote in a note. “The question going forward is going to be whether a surge in COVID cases and renewed measures aimed at containing the virus will lead to another spike in claims in the coming weeks….”
Continuing jobless claims, which include those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, dropped by 709,000 to 7.75 million for during the week of Oct. 17. Data on continuing jobless claims is delayed by one week.

Pandemic's latest spread triggers surge in VIX 'fear gauge' for U.S. stocks [Reuters]
The Cboe Volatility Index surged on Wednesday to its highest level since June, ending at 40.28. At the same time, the benchmark S&P 500 stock index fell 3.5%.... The VIX is now pricing in daily moves of more than 2%.... The VIX itself is trading at a higher level than the futures, an indication that immediate concerns about the coronavirus have dwarfed worries further out on the calendar.

Apollo Earnings Fall as CEO Wrangles With Jeffrey Epstein Ties [WSJ]
The New York firm posted net income of $272.4 million, or $1.11 a share, down from earnings of $363.3 million, or $1.63 a share, a year earlier. The decline was primarily driven by a bigger loss attributable to noncontrolling interests.
Apollo’s financial performance may soon be overshadowed by what Mr. Black says about his relationship with Mr. Epstein during a conference call to discuss the firm’s results later Thursday.

Credit Suisse misses analyst expectations with a 38% fall in net profit [CNBC]
Thomas Gottstein, CEO of Credit Suisse, said it was a “decent quarter….”
Performance in Credit Suisse’s wealth management division disappointed, with strong transaction-based revenues being more than offset by lower fees and net interest income. Revenue at the closely-watched division fell 10% year-on-year.
The bank’s investment banking division fared better, however, with net revenues rising by 11% in the third quarter from a year ago, on “constructive” market conditions and higher client activity, mainly in Asia.

Tiffany Agrees to New Deal Terms With LVMH [WSJ]
The companies have come to an agreement on new deal terms with LVMH paying $131.50 a share for the iconic U.S. jewelry maker, the companies said, confirming reporting by The Wall Street Journal. That’s down from an original price of $135 a share, equating to savings of roughly $430 million for LVMH. Tiffany and LVMH have also agreed to settle their pending litigation in Delaware….
LVMH said in September it was backing out of the deal, using the novel justification of trade disputes between France and the Trump administration…. Tiffany sued LVMH in Delaware Chancery Court to enforce the agreement or obtain damages…. Some legal experts have said LVMH faced long odds of prevailing.

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Credit Suisse Profit Falls (Reuters) The Swiss bank said on Thursday third-quarter net profit fell 63 percent to 254 million francs, missing analysts' average forecast of 370 million. The quarter was hit by 1.05 billion francs in charges, mainly linked to its own debt. Brady Dougan: More Tough Times Ahead For Financials (CNBC) More aggressive cost cutting will be necessary in the coming years, Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan told CNBC Thursday, adding that he expects the financial services industry to continue to operate in a volatile market environment. The bank is targeting cost savings of a billion Swiss francs ($1.07 billion) by next year with further cuts in the years after that. “We believe we should be in mode of driving business more efficiently. We have cut 2 billion Swiss francs in the last year and we can take another billion in 2013 and [we have] set further targets for 2014 and 2015. We want to drive that efficiency and we are in a volatile revenue environment and that’ll be the case for the industry for some time,” Dougan said. CEOs Call For Deficit Action (WSJ) Chief executives of more than 80 big-name U.S. corporations, from Aetna to Weyerhaeuser Co. are banding together to pressure Congress to reduce the federal deficit with tax-revenue increases as well as spending cuts. The CEOs, in a statement to be released on Thursday, say any fiscal plan "that can succeed both financially and politically" has to limit the growth of health-care spending, make Social Security solvent and "include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit." The CEOs who signed the manifesto deem tax increases inevitable no matter which party succeeds at the polls in November. "There is no possible way; you can do the arithmetic a million different ways" to avoid raising taxes, said Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna. "You can't tax your way to fix this problem, and you can't cut entitlements enough to fix this problem." Crew Of Argentine Ship Seized By Hedge Fund Elliot Associates Returns Home (AP) They were supposed to sail the Argentine military's signature tall ship into the port of Buenos Aires in full glory after a goodwill tour asserting the South American country's place in the world. Instead, hundreds of sailors had to abandon their frigate, evacuated on orders from President Cristina Fernandez, after the ARA Libertad was detained by a Ghanaian judge in a debt dispute. Frustrated and disheartened but determined to go back as soon as possible to retrieve their three-masted ship, the sailors arrived home early Thursday on an Air France charter. The Argentine government couldn't send one of its own planes, for fear that it, too, could be seized as collateral. China Surpasses US as Top Foreign Investment Venue (Reuters) China overtook the U.S. as the world's top destination for foreign direct investment in the first half of 2012, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. China absorbed $59.1 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first six months, down slightly from $60.9 billion a year earlier, the agency said in a report. The United States attracted $57.4 billion in 2012's first half, down 39 percent from a year earlier, it said. Stephen Colbert Makes Donald Trump An Offer (Mediaite) Reality star Donald Trump yesterday offered to donate $5 million to a charity of Barack Obama‘s choosing if the President “opens up and gives his college records and applications, and if he gives his passport applications and records.” Stephen Colbert, touched by Trump’s generosity, made an offer of his own last night. He is vowing to pledge $1 million from his Super PAC to any charity Trump wants if: “…you let me dip my balls in your mouth.” Fed Steady On Policy (WSJ) The Fed expanded bond purchasing at its September meeting and plans to do its next major evaluation of its bond-buying programs at its final meeting of the year on Dec. 11-12. Policy makers are still gathering evidence on whether their programs are working. "The Committee remains concerned that, without sufficient policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions," the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policy-making committee, said in a statement issued at the end of its two-day meeting. Jobless Claims Show Moderate Labor Progress (Bloomberg) Jobless claims decreased by 23,000 to 369,000 in the week ended Oct. 20 from a revised 392,000 the prior period, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Lazard Profit Drops As Merger-Advisory Revenue Falls (Bloomberg) Lazard, the largest independent merger-advisory firm, posted a 33 percent drop in third-quarter profit as revenue from advising on mergers declined. The firm said it would implement a cost-cutting plan. Earnings fell to $35.4 million, or 26 cents a share, from $52.9 million, or 39 cents, a year earlier, the Hamilton, Bermuda-based firm said today in a statement. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for per-share profit of 21 cents. Japanese man pays $780K for virginity of 20-year-old Brazil woman, who’ll use money for charity housing project (NYDN) A Brazilian student is set to sell her virginity for a staggering $780,000 after she put it up for auction online. A man called Natsu, from Japan, fended off strong competition from American bidders Jack Miller and Jack Right, and a big-spender from India, Rudra Chatterjee, to secure a date with 20-year-old Catarina Migliorini. The auction ended at 4 a.m. EST this morning, and the physical education student — who said she will use the cash to build homes for poverty-stricken families — was the subject of 15 bids. “The auction is just business, I'm a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area,” she told Folha newspaper. “If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer.