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Boo! October sales scary for Target; also: U.S. Bank provides record $503M in SBA loans, Delta adopts NWA bag fees, and Wells Fargo offers common stock

Consumers must have cut back on Halloween candy and scrounged for costumes at thrift stores this year, because Target released another month of scary bad sales results this morning. CEO Gregg Steinhafel calls the retailer’s 4.8 percent same-store sales decline “very disappointing.” The company is among a slew of retailers posting sales declines for October. However Wal-Mart bucked the trend, seeing a 2.4 percent increase.

Evidence that the impact of the credit crisis may be exaggerated? U.S. Bank, one of the nation’s largest small-business lenders, said it’s provided a record $503 million in SBA loans during 2008. That’s up 3.6 percent from its total last year. Nationally, U.S. Bank ranks third among SBA lenders.

Delta and Northwest passengers will be treated equally with a $15 fee for their first checked bag, the airlines said Wednesday. It wasn’t clear last week whether the merged airlines would keep Northwest’s first-bag fee, which didn’t exist for Delta customers. Delta also said it is eliminating its fuel surcharges to book tickets using frequent-flier miles.

Wells Fargo plans to offer $10 billion in common stock to help it maintain capital as it absorbs Wachovia Corp. The announcement came after markets closed Wednesday. Fortune’s Daily Briefing blog notes that the timing could have been better. It announced the stock sale on a day when the Dow Jones plunged 500 points and financial institutions were among the biggest losers.

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