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American bank to embrace the fall
With the heightened European crisis and fear lingering over investors, banks expect their third-quarter earnings to fall sharply. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) warned investors they might see a drop of 8% in trading revenue. Investment banking income may fall by a third compared to last year as corporations second-guess expansions and stock offerings. Even though trading revenue was what helped lift banks after the crisis, that same revenue is expected to drop by 7% industrywide compared to last year. With gloomy days ahead, banks have been tightening their belts, like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) cutting about 30,000 jobs over the next three years. Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) are also expected to suffer from the weak economic market. Citigroup could see as much as a 47% drop in its core trading business while Morgan Stanley may see only a 1% drop. Read more at The New York Times.

PlayBook sales may not have been enough
Research In Motion
(Nasdaq: RIMM), which reports earnings Thursday, may not have made the mark on the number of PlayBooks shipped. Only one PlayBook has been sold and shipped for every 19 iPads, according to Bloomberg estimates. RIM needed strong sales for its tablet to offset lower demand for its smartphones. The PlayBook, which was seen as a potential trend-setter, was released a year after the first iPad and behind competitors like Samsung. RIM has had a rough year with its lower sales, while Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has taken its smartphone market share with its Android operating system. RIM also announced it would cut 2,000 jobs, or a tenth of its workforce. Read more at Bloomberg.

Pepsi shakes it up
(NYSE: PEP) announced a management shakeup in its drinks division. The changes include the departure of bottling chief Eric Foss and the demotion of Massimo D'Amore, who ran the Americas beverage group. The company said the two positions would be essentially combined and filled by Albert Carey, a 30-year Pepsi veteran who most recently ran the Frito Lay division for North America. The shakeup was expected after Pepsi acquired the bottling unit. The stock was up about 0.6%. Read more at Reuters.

No shopping
Retail sales stayed flat for the month of August, giving more evidence that consumers have not regained their confidence. According to the Department of Commerce, retail and food services remained stalled at an adjusted $389.5 billion. The data come as unemployment remains at 9.1% and poverty in the country reached its highest point in 17 years. Inflation remained the same level. The factors will allow the Federal Reserve to implement credit-easing measures to stimulate the economy in the upcoming weeks. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.

So there you have it, the top financial stories for this afternoon. If you are interested in getting all the news and commentary on these stocks, sign up to My Watchlist here -- it's free!