Nightly Business Report — October 24, 2014

Tonight on Nightly Business Report, the Dow Industrial Average closes out the week with a triple-digit rise and the S&P 500 has its best week this year. And, UPS delivered earnings for shareholders, but the biggest focus was on something else: the holiday season.

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Today’s stock stories: DRIV, BMY, SHPG, CQB & SODA.

Chieko Hara | The Porterville Recorder | AP Photo
Tony Alvarez fills water containers at Tulare County Fire Station 20 in Porterville, Calif., Oct. 21, 2014.

With surface water supplies decimated from the ongoing drought, more Californians are forced to use groundwater. But groundwater is unsafe for nearly 800,000 residents, according to the state’s water resources control board. This problem is the longtime contamination from nitrates and arsenic. That’s meant less drinkable water in California’s struggle to survive more than three years …

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US colleges produce the most billionaires American universities produce the majority of the world’s billionaires, according to this year’s Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census report. Sixteen out of the top twenty schools with the most billionaire undergraduate alumni were located in the U.S, with Ivy League names dominating the top-five list. University of Pennsylvania came …

Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

We all know the risks associated with technology and, more specifically, social media in the workplace. Photos of CEOs in compromising situations. Videos posted to Facebooks of employees in company attire behaving badly. Bomb threats linked with executives inadvertently sharing confidential travel details on Twitter. I’ve also seen cases—more than you might think—of workplaces becoming casualties …

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From shopping to shipping, Amazon didn’t deliver earnings this quarter. The online retailer has been spending a ton of cash that, as of yet, hasn’t paid off. Television set-top streaming boxes, $100 million investment in original online video programming and its first smartphone were created in what chief financial officer Tom Szkutak calls an “investment …

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As the market bounces back, it may be high time for traders to buy portfolio protection. And that’s just what one big options trader did, using the SPDR Financial ETF (which trades under the ticker symbol XLF). In one of Thursday’s biggest trades on that ETF, one options trader bought 25,000 December 21-strike puts for …

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A staggering 330 million urban households around the world live in substandard housing or are so financially stretched by housing costs they forgo other basic needs like food and health care, according to McKinsey. Urban dwellers globally fork out $650 billion more per year on housing than they can afford, or around 1 percent of …

Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 23, 2014.

The stock market is acting as if the mid-October swoon never happened, despite a general—and fairly recent—sense of caution on Wall Street. Strategists at JPMorgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch released reports this week that, while overall bullish, told clients to prepare for more muted returns. Individual investors, though, don’t seem to be listening, …

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Shares in Amazon sank on Friday after missing Wall Street expectations for the seventh time in nine quarters—and it turns out the stock tanking isn’t so unusual either. Read More A grocer in e-commerce clothes? Amazon shares have fallen the day after earnings 11 of the last 20 quarters, according to Factset data, with an average …

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Worried about outliving your retirement nest egg? The IRS and the Treasury Department are promoting the use of deferred income annuities in 401(k) accounts. Rather than devoting all their account to annuities, employees can choose to channel a part of their savings to purchase a “guaranteed income for life while retaining other savings in other …

Industries most impacted by drought

Jane Wells tells us the surprising companies and sectors most at risk as the California drought drags on.

Airline profits soar

With more Americans flying and oil prices falling to $82 a barrel, a handful of U.S. carriers reported very strong third quarter earnings.

Rail gridlock

With more goods moving across the country by rail, gridlock has become a big problem and its costing rail operators billions of dollars.

Tale of two tech companies

Earnings from technology bellwethers Amazon and Microsoft could not have been more different. Amazon posted a huge miss while Microsoft delivered solid results.