Asian markets mostly traded weaker overnight. US stock exchanges will close today on precautionary measures over Hurricane Sandy.
We start with Pearson - which has confirmed the Penguin and Random House merger, to be tagged Penguin Random House (though it's thought News Corp could also put in a rival bid). Part of the reason for the move is the growing sales clout from online retailers like Amazon.
In terms of numbers, Pearson saw sales increase 5% for the first nine months of 2012. There's good growth from International Education and the FT Group and robust number from its North American Education.
But operating profit came in 5% lower, reflecting, said the company, "the sale of FTSE in 2011, acquisition integration costs and continued weakness in UK professional training." However the company reiterates its full-year sales and profit outlook - growth in both.
Next, an interim from F&C. Assets Under Management for the financial player dip to £96.8bn as of 30 September 2012 (30 June 2012: £98.2 billion). There's consumer and Institutional investment performance of £0.8 billion, or 2.2%, in the quarter.
Increased cost reductions set out at half year results remain on schedule. F&C part-blamed the dip in assets under management on foreign exchange fluctuations.
Lastly, Lloyds, in an attempt to clean up its act over mis-selling practices, is getting rid of sales incentives connected to product sales. The emphasis instead will be on customer service, a traditional metric far more widely used before riskier investment banking came on the scene.
The news comes at the start of a fresh third quarter reporting season for a rash of banks, including Lloyds, Barclays and RBS, commencing Wednesday with Barclays.
However the banks are also having to factor in significant PPI compensation pay-outs. It's likely Barclays may have to shell out in the order of £700 million. But Lloyds, responsible for many, many PPI policies, may have to set aside well in excess of £2bn.