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Morning Market Roundup: Italy Still in the Spotlight, Toyota in Trouble, MF Global Still Can't Find its Money


". . . Silvio Berlusconi is resisting calls to resign."

Investors are waiting for the outcome of the Italian (NYSE:EWI) parliament’s afternoon budget vote. This routine action is on last year’s budget plan and comes as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is resisting calls to resign.

If the vote is defeated, it will most likely be followed by a confidence vote.

(Related: EU Prepares to Launch New Rescue Fund Next Month)

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) is the latest Japanese carmaker hit hard by the Thailand floods. The company announced in a statement today that it would discard its profit forecast and take some time to assess the financial damage from the floods.

In the second quarter ending Sept 30, Toyota’s profit declined 19 percent to ¥80.4 billion ($1 billion), missing analysts expectations of ¥103.5 billion.

The search for the missing MF Global Ltd (NYSE:MF) $600 million-plus money continues. The battered firm believes JP Morgan&Chase (NYSE:JPM) took longer than usual to clear transactions on its final day and this affected efforts to not only find a buyer for MF but also contributed to the missing customer money. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and bankruptcy trustee James W. Giddens are leading the money hunt as MF customers may have to wait weeks or months to see their money again.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) will continue offering its Android mobile operating system for free to the company’s handset manufacturing partners and believes its pending Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. purchase will not affect relationships with them.

“We will run (Motorola) sufficiently independently so it will not violate the openness of Android,” Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said at a news conference.

Google had announced its plans in August to buy Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) for $12.5 billion, raising concerns among cellphone makers on whether the Internet search giant would treat them equally with the Android platform.

[Editor’s note: that above is a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]

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