Consumer confidence remains below par

NEW YORK – Americans’ confidence in the economy stayed stuck in gloomy territory in October, with Wall Street’s gains in recent months not boosting spirits much. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 50.2 from a revised 48.6 in September. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected 49.2. September’s reading was the index’s lowest point since February. An index of 90 indicates a healthy economy. That hasn’t been approached since the recession began in December 2007.

Housing report: Meanwhile, the outlook for housing is weaker. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home index showed that home prices are falling around the country, even in metro areas that were showing strength earlier in the year. The index fell 0.2 percent in August from July. Fifteen of the cities showed monthly price declines. Prices are expected to drop further in the coming months. Home prices had risen in many markets from April through July. But those increases were mostly fueled by government tax credits, which have expired.

Associated Press

Barnes & Noble offering Nook e-reader in color

NEW YORK – Barnes & Noble is introducing a new Nook e-reader with a color touch screen for $249 as competition among e-reader makers heats up ahead of the holidays.

The Nookcolor can be used for reading digital books, magazines, newspapers and children’s books. It runs on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

The company announced Tuesday that it will begin pre-orders at its stores today and begin shipping in mid-November.

Associated Press

Boeing to pay $4 million to settle Air Force suit

LOS ANGELES – Boeing Co. has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the company overcharged the Air Force for a decoy system to protect against guided missiles.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles said Tuesday that Boeing allegedly gave inaccurate information over the so-called “Towed Decoy System.” When deployed behind a B-1 bomber, the system tricks a missile into following the device instead.

The government says Boeing never told Air Force contract negotiators it had previously manufactured the decoy more cheaply, largely through outsourcing.

Associated Press

CdA Brewing closing North Idaho operation

The owners of Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co. say they’ve been unable to find a new building in Coeur d’Alene and will now brew beer only from the Steam Plant Grill in Spokane.

The owners include Spokane real estate developer Ron Wells and two stepsons, Gage and Spencer Stromberg.

Gage Stromberg said it became difficult to locate a building suited both for dining and brewing beer.

He added the owners are looking to sell the entire business to another party who might want to restart the operation in North Idaho. They will continue operating a Moscow restaurant.

Stromberg said the second option, if the business isn’t sold, is to offer the brewing equipment to would-be buyers. “There is a lot of interest in the parts of the brewery if it isn’t sold as a package,” he said in an e-mail.

Tom Sowa

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