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  • All the three U.S. stock indexes touched fresh record highs on Tuesday, after the carmakers reported strong monthly sales data.
  • Analysts had forecast September auto sales to be the highest in 2017, largely due to Americans in hurricane-ravaged cities replacing their damaged vehicles.
  • Third-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to increase 6.2 percent from a year earlier.
  • Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Tuesday that the odds of getting a tax plan passed are higher than what most people expect, but expressed uncertainty over the reforms.
  • Shares in Tesla were down 2% after the luxury electric vehicle maker said its planned ramp-up for the new Model 3 mass-market sedan faced production bottlenecks.
  • Lennar’s shares rose about 2% following a higher-than-expected quarterly profit from the No.2 U.S. homebuilder.


Tesla Misses Model 3 Production Goals

  • Electric-car maker built 260 Model 3s in latest period, missing out on goal of building 1,500.
  • Tesla said its total global deliveries—including Model S sedans and Model X sport-utility vehicles—rose 4.5% to 26,150 compared with a year earlier.
  • That beat the average estimate of 25,900 deliveries by five analysts surveyed by FactSet.
  • Tesla’s third-quarter results were helped by a 36% rise in Model X sales to 11,865 compared with a year ago, while Model S sales fell about 11% to 14,065.

GM, Ford, Toyota Post Sharply Higher Sales in September

  • General Motors said Tuesday sales rose 12% last month compared to a year earlier to 279,397 vehicles.
  • Ford said sales rose 9% last month to 221,643 vehicles.
  • Toyota’s sales surged 15% to 226,632 vehicles, bolstered by strong demand for its revamped Camry sedan.
  • Nissan sales rose nearly 10% to 139,932, a record for the month.
  • Fiat Chrysler said sales dropped 10% to 174,266, hurt by a planned reduction in sales to rental-car companies.
  • Auto sales have been lower every month this year as demand cools following a remarkable seven-year run of increasing sales, including record 17.55 million vehicles sold in 2016.

Homebuilder Lennar’s profit beats on higher home sales, prices

  • The No.2 U.S. homebuilder reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as it sold more homes at higher prices, underscoring the strength in demand for housing in the United States.
  • Lennar reported gross margin of 22.8 percent in the quarter, edging past its forecast of between 21.75 and 22 percent.
  • The Florida-based builder said it sold 7,598 homes in the quarter, compared with 6,779 homes a year earlier.
  • The average selling price rose 3.6 percent to $375,000, the highest growth in five quarters.
  • Net income rose to $249.2 million, from $235.8 million a year earlier.
  • The company’s revenue rose 15.1 percent to $3.26 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway Buys Stake in Pilot Flying J Travel Centers

  • Berkshire didn’t disclose how much it is paying for its initial 38.6% stake in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, which operates 750 travel centers along U.S. and Canadian roadways and generates more than $20 billion in annual revenue.

Whole Foods price cuts hit hardest at Trader Joe’s, Sprouts: report

  • Whole Foods rivals Trader Joe’s and Sprouts Farmers Market Inc have been hit hardest by customer defections since Amazon’s price cuts at the premium grocer, Whole Foods price cuts.
  • Amazon cut prices on select items at Whole Foods on Aug. 28.
  • On the first day, customer traffic spiked 31 percent from a year earlier.
  • Traffic jumped 17 percent during the week after the price reductions and remained up 4 percent for the week ended Sept. 16.
  • Ten percent of Trader Joe’s regular customers visited Whole Foods between Aug. 28 and Sept. 3, more than any other competing chain.
  • Sprouts was No. 2 at 8 percent, followed by Target at 3 percent and Costco and Safeway at 2 percent each.

American Express wins dismissal of lawsuit over lost Costco contract

  • American Express as won the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing the credit card services company of defrauding shareholders about the loss in 2015 of a lucrative co-branding relationship with Costco.
  • U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan rejected claims that American Express improperly downplayed the risk its 16-year relationship with Costco might end, and concealed how the warehouse chain had generated 8 percent of its revenue and 20 percent of its loans.

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Retail trade group sees holiday sales rising 3.6% to 4% this year

  • Holiday retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants — are expected to increase as much as 4 percent this year, reaching up to $682 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Warren Buffett, the world’s second richest man, says eliminating the estate tax would be a ‘terrible mistake’

  • The Berkshire Hathaway chief says the estate tax impacts only a small percentage of Americans, so getting rid of it would not have widespread effects.
  • Buffett says eliminating it could lead to dynasty-building, which is a poor allocation of resources.
  • “There are going to be 2.6 million people [who] die this year in the United States,” but there will be only about 5,000 tax returns that will owe estate taxes, he said in a wide-ranging interview.

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New EU tax plan would eliminate money-saving workarounds for companies like Amazon

  • Value-added tax in a cross-border trade would be charged at the rate set by the country where the buyer is located, rather than in the seller’s home as now.
  • The change is also likely to eliminate the incentive for exporting firms to base themselves in countries with low VAT rates.
  • Amazon is based in Luxembourg.

Catalan Independence Supporters Block Major Roads Into Barcelonas

  • Major roads to Barcelona and through eastern Catalonia were blocked in about 17 places as pro-independence protesters made a show of force to coincide with an indefinite general strike some of them are promoting across Spain’s largest regional economy.

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  • St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, died (1226)
  • President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day (1863)
  • The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes formally changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1929)

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