That's it for today, but drop in tomorrow. One highlight will be Marks and Spencer results. See you from 06:00.
- Workers win overtime holiday pay case
- Primark annual sales up to nearly £5bn
- JP Morgan faces criminal investigation
- The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab
Polling stations have opened in the US in mid-term elections to decide who runs the Senate, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.Kim Gittleson reports from Arkansas, where improvements in the economy are not being reflected in voter support for the incumbent Democrats. "The economy is coming back, but nobody believes it because you don't feel it," admits Arkansas native Bill Clinton in a speech.
This is almost too painful to watch. US financial journalist Joe Kernen is utterly baffled by British and Irish geography, expresses amazement that Ireland uses the euro, and blunders through decades of sensitive Anglo-Irish relations. I suppose it is a bit confusing, but if you invite a guest on to talk about Ireland, you might want to do some homework first.You can watch the video here.
Alibaba has reported a net income of $1.1bn for the three months to 30 September, which is a little less than analysts were expecting. Chief executive Jonathan Lu quotes some pretty impressive figures - in China retail volume was up 49% for the quarter. It has 217 million monthly active users on its mobile commerce apps, he said.
The European markets fell in response to new European Union growth forecasts, which point towards a sluggish recovery and more problems for France in particular.
Shane Brown from Leicester gets in touch with the BBC, and his case appears to sum up the problem with not getting holiday pay on overtime: "I work 35 hours a week as a cleaner but am only contracted to 28 hours," he says. "It makes me less likely to want to take a holiday because... I can't afford to only be paid for 28 hours. Being paid holiday for overtime worked would take a massive weight off my shoulders."
BBC Business editor
blogs on chief executive Marc Bolland's efforts to revive Marks & Spencer: "On Wednesday, M&S will reveal its half-year results. Profits are likely to be down and sales flat or falling. But step back, those close to Mr Bolland insist, and there is evidence that the tanker is turning around."
Business correspondent, BBC News Channel
Andrew Stones, the lawyer who led the appeals on behalf of two of the employers in the holiday pay case says: "Concerns [of the business community] should largely be alleviated following the judgment... [the tribunal] has really limited the scope for different holiday pay periods to be linked together as one ongoing series of deductions for historic claims. This finding will significantly limit the scope for such claims in the future and the flowing potential liability for companies."
BBC News Channel
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors says we are making employment law "on the hoof". He is reacting to the ruling on overtime pay. He says any retrospective element would be the most damaging for employers. He is pleading for the government to take action if necessary to protect firms. He also said the situation could be a "bonanza" for lawyers.
The European Commission says that France's proposed budget cuts for 2015 "remain insufficiently specified". So the Commission has not included those cuts in its assessment of France's government deficit. It expects the deficit to rise to 4.5% of GDP in 2015. France's budget deficit is still well above the Commission's target of 3%.
BBC News Channel
The BBC's Daniel Boettcher reports from outside that Employment Tribunal and confirms that the claimants have won the overtime case. But he points out that both parties can take this decision to the court of appeal. Daniel says it's still not clear if staff would be able to claim pay retrospectively.
According to the Unite union, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that overtime should be taken into account when holiday pay is calculated. The ruling has been closely watched, as businesses are concerned it could have heavy costs in backdated pay. However, speaking on the News Channel, the BBC's John Moylan says the backdated element may be limited.
The world's best whisky has been named by the editors of the 2015 World Whisky Bible, and it's Japanese. The Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, made by Japanese drinks giant Suntory, was hailed as "near indescribable genius" by whisky expert Jim Murray.The Guardian reports that you can buy a bottle for about $160 (£100) from specialist shops or online.
There's been a sharp slowdown in sales at the world's biggest cosmetics firm, L'Oreal. Like-for-like sales grew 2.3% in the third quarter, down from growth of 4.1% in the previous quarter. L'Oreal says sales fell in Europe and were sluggish in North America. L'Oreal shares are down 1.6% in Paris this morning.
Signs of a slowdown in the UK housing market have hit construction firms. The latestPMI data from Markit/CIPS suggests the construction sector grew at its slowest rate in five months in October. House-building fell to its lowest rate of growth in a year. "October's survey provides the first indication that the chill winds blowing across the UK housing market have started to weigh on the booming residential building sector," said Tim Moore from Markit.
Recent falls in commodity prices have hit the Australian economy. Figures out earlier this morning show awidening of the trade deficit, with prices of iron ore down 40%, and thermal coal at a five-year low. Again a fall in demand from China is being blamed. Employment data also points to a weaker Australian labour market.
Later today Alibaba will report its first set of quarterly results since selling shares on the New York Stock Exchange in September. It is expected to report a net profit of $1.17bn for the quarter which ended in September, according to Reuters. There was much hoopla when Alibaba sold shares, as by some measures it is the world's biggest internet retailer.Results are due before 12:30.
Marks and Spencer has been showing the press and analysts a revamped store in the Westfield shopping centre in London. Retail analyst Nick Bubb says: "The new emphasis at M&S on proper merchandising of the product and sub-brands is welcome... but the world has not been standing still waiting for M&S to get its act together and winning customers back will not be easy in the current climate." M&S results are out on Wednesday.
Legal & General shares are leading the FTSE 100 higher, up 2.6%. That follows strong results for the first nine months of the year. Personal annuity sales in the third quarter fell by almost two thirds compared to the same quarter last year, but L&G is compensating by selling bulk annuities to companies. Personal annuities have plunged since the budget in March, which freed retirees from having to buy one.
Primark might have had a "magnificent year", but Associated British Foods' other main business - sugar - islooking less healthy. Revenues and profits are down on last year. It expects a further large fall in profits next year. "There are high stocks of sugar in the EU, competition continues to be intense and both of these factors have continued to drive EU prices downward," the company warned.
An interesting interview in the Telegraph with the chief executive of Drax, the UK's biggest coal fired power station. Dorothy Thompson says that electricity producers are not making much money and could be scrimping on maintenance. She also accepts that consumers think they are paying too much.
There's a new entrant in the television business. China's Xiaomi, the world's third biggest maker of smartphones, will invest $1bn (£625m) in television programmes. Xiaomi says it wants to "enrich" the company's content. It joins Amazon, which is spending $100m this year on TV programmes.
Simon Calder, travel expert
Radio 5 live
More on the holiday pay issue. On Radio 5 live Glenn Hayes from law firm Irwin Mitchell says that companies, particularly in manufacturing, have not allowed for the possibility of backdated pay. It could potentially be "extremely damaging", he says. Even employees who have left the business might be able to claim back pay.
Japanese carmaker Nissan has just reported a small rise in profits thanks to a recovery in its sales in North America - its biggest market. Nissan is Japan's second biggest car exporter, behind Toyota.
India business reporter, Delhi
"Thelifting of a ban on female make-up artists in Bollywood will end nearly 60 years of gender bias. Some managed to get round the rule - and were sneaked on to sets surreptitiously. The ruling's not just great news for the women who can now work in Bollywood but perhaps the stars too. One actress told me that while it wasn't comfortable for women to get their body make-up done by men, they often had no choice."
The biggest bank in the Eurozone,Santander, has reported a profit of €4.36bn for the nine months to the end of September. That's up 32% from the €3.31bn made in the same period of 2013. It was helped by lower provisions for bad loans, which fell 10%.
Radio 5 live
"The effects are relatively subtle," says Philip Tucker from the department of psychology at Swansea University onRadio 5 live. He is part of the research team that looked into the impact of shift work on the ability to think straight. He says there will not be a "glaring difference" between a shift worker and someone on regular hours. A shift worker might make a few more mistakes or struggle with difficult mental processing, Mr Tucker says.
Primark had a "magnificent" year according to a message from chairman Charles Sinclair in the annual results of parent company, Associated British Foods (ABF). Profits rose 30%, it had a "highly successful" entry into France and Primark is planning to move into the north-eastern US. More on ABFresults can be found here.
Brewer and pub operator Greene King hasagreed a deal to buy out Spirit, the company behind pub chains Chef & Brewer and Taylor Walker, for £773.6m. Greene King currently operates 1,900 pubs, restaurants and hotels, while Spirit has 1,227 pubs.
German fashion house Hugo Boss has issued a profits warning. It says it expects to sell less and make less money thanks to the slowdown in the European economy. Despite that, it said profits rose by 2% in the three months to September, while sales grew 9%.
Laura D'Arcy from legal firm Pannone tells Dominic Laurie onBreakfast that any ruling on holiday pay is likely to be limited to the employment you're currently in, or have left recently. But she admits the liabilities could run into the millions of pounds, and that could be a real problem for smaller firms with long-serving workforces who make claims.