NEW YORK (AP) - Crude oil futures prices ended lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The near-month contract for the benchmark grade fell 47 cents -- closing at $102.66 a barrel.
UNDATED -- J.C. Penney shares are trading at their lowest level in nearly 13 years as the department stores' woes appear to be worsening. The Plano, Texas, retailer has struggled for some time with weak sales, a bungled turnaround effort, management changes and board resignations. A number of large shareholders have sold off stakes. Wednesday's freefall comes as a New York State Supreme Court Judge summoned lawyers for Martha Stewart, J.C. Penney and Macy's Inc. to a hearing, almost two months after the three made closing arguments in a lengthy battle over Penney's partnership with the homemaking maven. It also follows recent reports that the retailer may run out of cash before the holiday season. Shares fell $1.58, or 13.3 percent, to $10.32 at midmorning, after earlier dropping as low as $9.93.
NEW YORK (AP) - Susan Boyle is taking her first stab at acting. She will appear in the holiday film "The Christmas Candle." It's about an English village where an angel visits every 25 years and touches a candle, and whoever lights it on Christmas Eve receives a miracle. However, then electricity becomes the norm and candles fall out of use. It's not certain what role Boyle will play. Her song "Miracle Hymn" will be the film's theme song. "The Christmas Candle" hits theaters November 22. Boyle's holiday album, "Home For Christmas," will come out October 29.
NEW YORK (AP) - Don't expect to see all of the new cast members when "Saturday Night Live" returns this weekend for its 39th season. Except at the end when the cast is on stage saying goodbye. Lorne Michaels says "the intent is always to go slowly and not put anyone out there unless you feel they can score." Six people are joining the show. This will also be Cecily Strong's debut as co-anchor of "Weekend Update" with Seth Meyers. Michaels says Meyers will stick around at least until February and longer if he can manage to do that while replacing Jimmy Fallon on "Late Night." Tina Fey will host the premiere. Arcade Fire will be the musical guest.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Law & Order: SVU" returns tonight for its 15th season and you can be sure there will be more episodes ripped from current headlines. Episode two will be about kidnapped girls like in the Ariel Castro case in Cleveland. Another episode will feature a politician who gets into trouble for sexting like Anthony Weiner. And another will be about a celebrity chef and the shooting of a young African-American man, an apparent mash-up of Paula Deen and Trayvon Martin. But first, in tonight's season premiere, Detective Benson has to escape the rapist who was holding her at gunpoint in last season's finale.
NEW YORK (AP) - In celebration of its 60th anniversary, TV Guide has picked the 60 best TV cartoons of all time. "The Simpsons" comes in first, followed by "The Flintstones," "Looney Tunes," "Peanuts" and "Scooby-Doo." Then comes "Rocky and his Friends/The Bullwinkle Show," "Batman," "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Family Guy" and "South Park." The rest of the list includes "Beavis and Butt-Head," "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," "George of the Jungle," "The Jetsons," "Josie and the Pussycats," "King of the Hill," "Mighty Mouse," "Ren and Stimpy," "The Smurfs," "Tom and Jerry," "Underdog," "Woody Woodpecker" and "The Yogi Bear Show."
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Just because Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey are bigger stars now than they were when they made the first "Dumb and Dumber," it doesn't mean they're above doing stupid and gross stuff. The toilet scene is the one everyone talks about when mentioning the first movie. Daniels says there are things they'll be doing in the sequel "that make the toilet scene look lame." He says the toilet scene will "pale in comparison." Daniels and Carrey are filming the sequel now.
KEENE, N.H. (AP) - The only known copy of a Mary Pickford movie that marked an important turning point in the silent film star's career is being shown in New Hampshire next month, seven years after it was discovered in an old barn. A contractor found the 1911 film, titled "Their First Misunderstanding," and six others while cleaning out a barn ahead of its demolition. He and the property owner donated it to the film department at nearby Keene State College, which has been working to identify and restore the movies. The Pickford film is particularly significant because it was the first for which she was given credit in advertising materials. Pickford was known as "America's Sweetheart." She also helped found the United Artists studio.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Carrie Underwood gave a memorable performance of the Beatles' "Yesterday" at the Emmy Awards last night. Trouble is, many won't remember it fondly. Twitter users went nuts after Underwood performed the song during a tribute to two events that captivated TV audiences 50 years ago: Beatlemania and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. After Don Cheadle introduced a series of clips, Underwood performed. And most tweets let her have it, saying the song was off key - and the tribute unnecessary. Tweeted Conan O'Brian show writer Sean O'Connor: "Some people never forget where they were when JFK got shot, but I will never forget where I was when Carrie Underwood murdered The Beatles."
ATLANTA (AP) - The U.S. Postal Service is planning to add soul singer Ray Charles to its "Music Icons Forever" stamp series. Postal officials say the agency is releasing a stamp featuring the Albany, Ga., native on Monday along with one of the artist's previously unreleased songs. Charles was a singer and songwriter who pioneered the soul and rhythm and blues genres. He died in 2004. Events are being planned in Atlanta and Los Angeles to celebrate Charles' inclusion in the series. R&B singer Ashanti and the Morehouse College Glee Club are scheduled to perform at the Atlanta school's Ray Charles Performing Arts Center. And Chaka Khan is headlining an event at the Grammy Museum. The U.S. Postal Service honors music legends each year by featuring them on limited-edition stamps.