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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Wall Street rallies in afternoon trading
  3. UK financial regulator investigates Equifax
  4. Virgin Money boss warns of 'pervading sexism'
  5. BrightHouse to repay customers £15m

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good Night

    BBC Testcard

    That's it for tonight on Business Live.

    We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Wednesday morning.

    Do join us for all the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

  2. Wall Street hits historic high

    Wall Street

    Wall Street closed on a positive note, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq reaching a historic high of 6,605.80, up 14.29 points.

    The Dow Jones ended up 0.72% or 168 points at 23,441.76, while the S&P 500 closed up 4 points up or 0.16% at 2,569.13.

    3M led the winners on the Dow Jones index, up 6.2% with shares trading at $235.31, while Atossa Genetics led the way on the Nasdaq with an epic 91.9%, with shares trading at $1.19.

  3. Puerto Rico in darkness

    A toddler plays by the light of a torch

    Questions are being raised about how a small utility company from Mantana called Whitefish Energy Holdings was given a $300m contract to rebuild Pureto Rico's power grid.

    Over one month after Storm Maria, 80% of Puerto Riccans are still without power.

    The US House of Representative's Natural Resources Committee is now scrutinising the deal.

    "The size and unknown details of this contract raises numerous questions," committee spokesman Parish Braden told the BBC.

    "This is one of many things the committee is taking a close look at as it continues to work with the resident commissioner, governor's office, and oversight board to ensure Puerto Rico's recovery is robust, effective and sustained."

  4. Macron slashes wealth tax

    Emmanual Macron

    French MPs have overwhelmingly approved President Emmanuel Macron's plans to exonerate financial investments from the wealth tax, which means the tax only applies to property.

    The French president says the plan is essential to encouraging investment in the country and preventing capital flight, but his critics have accused him of being soft on the rich by cutting their taxes, while trimming student housing benefits.

  5. Spooky business

    Halloween costumes

    British consumers will spend a record £20m on Halloween this year - the most that the UK has ever spent on the festival, according to retail analysts Mintel.

    Angels Fancy Dress also reports that 2017 will likely be its most successful Halloween season yet, with a 10% increase year-on-year in costume hire, a 9% year-on-year increase in web sales and an 8% year-on-year increase in sales at physical shops.

    Angels says the top costumes this Halloween will be Stranger Things, the remake of Stephen King's It, and comic book characters Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn.

  6. 'Worst sales on record'

    F-35 fighter jet

    US defence firm Lockheed Martin has reported quarterly profit and sales that fell short of analysts' estimates, sending shares down by 2.7% to $312.15.

    Lockheed's net earnings from operations fell 13.8% to $939 million, or $3.24 per share, from $1.1 billion, or $3.61 per share. While sales increased to $12.2 billion, from $11.6 billion a year ago, these were still below Wall Street's expectations.

    Lockheed Martin forecast that sales in 2018 would increase by 2%, which is less than the 2.8% average of all analysts' estimates, and its worst miss on record, according to Bloomberg.

    The aeronautics division, which makes the F-35 fighter jet, was the only Lockheed business unit to increase profitability from last year.

  7. Runaway air traffic?

    Heathrow airport

    Could the government be considering not just a new runway at Heathrow but an extra one elsewhere?

    They've just announced that current capacity will be full by 2034, that's six years earlier than they previous predicted.

    And they've re-opened the public consultation on the Heathrow plan until December.

    Gatwick says it's still ready and willing to have a second runway if the call comes.

    Read more here.

  8. WeWork will be working in fancy new office space

    Lord and Taylor building

    WeWork - the New York based sharing economy company that lets individuals rent office space - is setting up shop in the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building.

    WeWork, backed by Softbank, is paying $850m to Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay for the real estate.

    The central Manhattan building will make a swanky location for WeWork's HQ and designer brand Lord & Taylor will maintain a 150,000-square foot store at the location.

    But will ambitious footloose entrepreneurs in search of a desk in a prime downtown location get a look in?

  9. Premier League TV rights: Clubs abandon plans for distribution of overseas money

    Footballers playing

    The UK's six richest football clubs - Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea - have been pushing for a change in the way overseas television money is shared.

    Until now it has been distributed equally. They wanted their appeal reflected in their income.

    A plan suggested 35% of revenue from the sale of global TV rights should be divided based on league position.

    But a meeting set for Wednesday - to discuss the plan - has now been called off - apparently there wasn't much of a consensus.

    Read more on this story here.

  10. Oil prices up

    Oil rig

    Oil prices have risen on the back of comments from Saudi Arabia that it is determined to reduce oil stocks to end the oil glut.

    Brent oil rose 1.3% to $58.10 a barrel, while US crude gained 1% to $52.42.

    "When we get closer to that (five-year average) we will decide how we smoothly exit the current arrangement, maybe go to a different arrangement to keep supply and demand closely balanced so we don't have a return to higher inventories," Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said.

  11. Einstein note sells for $1.56m

    Albert Einstein

    A note that Albert Einstein once gave a courier in Tokyo, that briefly describes his theory on happy living, sold at auction in Jerusalem on Tuesday for $1.56m (£1.19m).

    In 1922, Einstein was on a lecture tour in Japan. A courier brought him a message and refused to accept a tip, in line with local practice. Einstein didn't want the man to leave empty-handed, so he wrote two notes for him in German.

    The note that has been sold, reads: "A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest."

    The auction house had pre-estimated the value of the item to be only $5,000-$8,000.

  12. Sterling down

    Sterling to dollar exchange

    The pound is down 0.59% against the dollar at $1.31190, and also down 0.7% against the euro at $1.11520.

    The fall is due to uncertainty over whether the Bank of England will hike interest rates next week, as well as uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.

  13. London shares end flat

    London Stock Exchange

    The FTSE 100 has closed flat at 7,526.54 points, just two points higher, following a difficult day with little movement.

    Whitbread, the owner of the Costa coffee chain, reported a sharp drop in interim pre-tax profits. It ended the day down 4.8%, trading at £37.53.

    Meanwhile the FTSE 250 was down 18 points or 0.1%, closing at 20,113.21 points. Provident Financial is now the biggest loser, down 4.2% to 890p.

  14. Gucci sales soar

    Gucci

    French luxury goods group Kering, which owns Gucci, says the brand has helped it to beat analyst forecasts, as comparable sales rose 28.4% in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago.

    A revival in demand for high-end clothes and jewellery from the Chinese has helped, as well as a creative overhaul at Gucci.

    Sales reached €3.9bn (£3.5bn) across the group for the period from July to September, up 23.2% on a non-organic basis.

  15. US shares treading water

    JP Morgan bull sculpture on Wall Street

    There's not much movement with US shares right now. The Dow Jones is at 23,459.14 points, up 185 points or 0.80%, while the S&P has seen a tiny 0.18% rise to 2,569.48.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up 0.25% or 16 points, to 6,602.92.

    The top loser for the Dow is IBM, which is trading down 1.96% at $156.40, while on the S&P, it's washing machine maker Whirlpool Corp, down 10.2% at $163.80, following the announcement that Sears will stop selling its appliances.

    On the Nasdaq, SenesTech is the biggest loser, down 11.4% to $2.58 following a surprise jump on Monday after it signed a national distribution agreement with Univar for its pest-control technology.

  16. Poor weather dampens wine production

    Grapes

    Global wine production is expected to fall by 8.2% this year to the lowest level since 1961, according to the Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

    It said output levels from wine-producing countries Italy, France and Spain are at "historic lows" compared to 2016 following "extreme weather events" which swing from frost to drought.

    In contrast, areas such as Argentina experienced strong production as did the US, Brazil and Romania.

  17. Council starts its own energy company

    Electricity

    Islington Council in London has decided to launch its very own not-for-profit energy company in a bid to offer lower gas and electricity prices.

    Angelic Energy aims to help residents cope with the rising cost of living by offering them a "fairer deal" with more transparent prices, no early termination fees and various options for heating homes.

    The energy is supplied by Robin Hood Energy, a non-for-profit energy supplier owned by Nottingham City Council, which is also trying to tackle energy poverty.

  18. Barclays offers to help students

    Barclays

    Barclays has announced that it will offer free accommodation to all graduates who are otherwise unable to attend job interviews in three major UK cities.

    A survey conducted by the bank found that four in 10 graduates have to turn down job interviews because they can't afford the expense of travel and accommodation to the location where the job interview is being held.

    Barclays will offer all graduates - not just its own job applicants - two nights of free accommodation in city centre studio apartments in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

    The offer is only for the month of November, and graduates can apply provided they have proof that they have an interview for a first graduate job, and that proof that they are a recent graduate (2016/2017 academic year).