NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Japan's industrial output fell unexpectedly in August, raising doubts over the country's recovery. Factory output fell by 0.5% month on month, vs. expectations of growth of 1% by analysts, underlying the hardships faced by countries in Asia as China's slowdown becomes more pronounced. The fall in industrial output is fueling fears that a recession may be imminent despite huge quantitative easing efforts by the Bank of Japan.
- Microsoft (MSFT) aims to make its Office suite of programs work seamlessly on non-Microsoft platforms and on all Microsoft ones, CEO Satya Nadella told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.
- Ralph Lauren (RL) named Stefan Larsson, global president of Gap (GPS) division Old Navy, to succeed founder Ralph Lauren as CEO starting with November. Ralph Lauren will remain executive chairman and creative chief. Ralph Lauren shares were up in pre-market trading.
- Consumer confidence fell in the U.K. in September, hit by the slowdown in China and by the refugee crisis in Europe, according to market research firm GfK. The monthly consumer confidence index slipped to +3 from +7 in August and vs. expectations for a reading of +6. However, home prices continued to rise, buoyed by increases in London and the south east, posting an annual increase of 3.8% in September.
- Mergers and acquisitions activity remained elevated in the third quarter, which recorded $1 trillion worth of deals, according to data quoted by the Financial Times. It was the first time in 15 years that M&A topped $1 trillion in two consecutive quarters.