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BEYOND TAMPA BAY

TOYOTA said Monday its global sales in the July-September quarter fell for the first time in seven years due to faltering U.S. demand. Japan's top automaker sold 2.24-million vehicles worldwide during the quarter, down 4 percent from the same period last year. It marked the first year-on-year decline in the July-September period since 2001, the company said.

FINALLY, some not-so-spooky news for retailers: With Halloween on Friday, many people are putting aside recession fears and snapping up Joker (from The Dark Knight, above) masks, Sarah Palin glasses and Hannah Montana wigs. According to the National Retail Federation, more people are expected to participate in Halloween festivities this year, with the average person spending $66.54, up from $64.82 a year ago.

"Bankruptcy for GM certainly is not an option."

Bob Lutz, General Motors vice chairman, although GM has burned through $1.05-billion a month in cash so far this year amid plunging automotive industry sales

161M

EQUIVALENT IN PINTS of Britain's 7 percent drop in third-quarter beer sales, according to a British Beer and Pub Association Report

THE BOTTOM LINE: Verizon Communications' third-quarter earnings rise 31 percent ... Boeing and machinists union reach tentative deal to end strike that started on Sept. 6

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