Shortfall expected in FHA financial report

The Federal Housing Administration's annual report is expected to show a sharp deterioration in the agency's financial condition, including a shortfall in reserves, the result of escalating losses on the $1.1 trillion in mortgages that it insures, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources. If the report, due later this week, showed that the FHA's capital reserves had fallen deep into negative territory, it would be a stark reversal from projections last year that it would show a positive economic value of $9.4 billion in 2012.

Starbucks adds to tea holdings with Teavana

Starbucks Coffee Co. will buy Teavana Holdings Inc. for $620 million in cash as the coffee giant powers deeper into the tea market. The $15.50-a-share price is lower than the $17 a share at which Teavana was priced for its public debut last July. Starbucks said it plans to expand Teavana's existing 300 mall-based stores while adding a "high-profile neighborhood store concept." Teavana was founded in 1997 and offers more than 100 kinds of premium loose-leaf teas, artisanal tea equipment and other merchandise.

Producer price index dipped 0.2% last month

Wholesale prices unexpectedly fell in October for the first time in five months as energy and vehicle costs dropped. The 0.2 percent decline in the producer price index came after a 1.1 percent increase the prior month, Labor Department figures showed. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 73 economists called for a 0.2 percent rise. Excluding volatile food and energy, the so-called core measure decreased 0.2 percent, the first drop since November 2010.

Sandy sent retail sales down 0.3% in October

Retail sales dropped in October for the first time in three months as superstorm Sandy took its toll on auto sales, the Commerce Department said. Retail and food-service sales were down 0.3 percent last month, compared with September. Analysts had expected Sandy, which paralyzed much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, to cause a drop in spending by consumers. But October's decline was more than the 0.2 percent expected, suggesting that consumer spending slowed for other reasons than the storm.

Berkshire Hathaway buys into John Deere

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took a stake in Deere & Co. as billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett entrusts more of the company's investment portfolio to deputy stock pickers. Berkshire held 3.98 million shares of the agricultural equipment maker on Sept. 30, Buffett's Omaha-based firm said in a filing disclosing U.S. stock holdings. Deere shares advanced 0.9 percent to $85.50 in after-hours trading.