Bank of America reported a $1 billion loss in the third quarter, compared with a $1.18 billion profit during the same period last year. The bank's results were helped by Merrill Lynch's profit on stock, bond and currency trading. BofA said it bolstered its reserve for future loan losses by $11.7 billion. General Electric reported third-quarter earnings of $2.49 billion, or 23 cents per share, down 42% from $4.31 billion, or 43 cents per share, a year ago. The slide, as well as a 20% drop in revenue, was attributed to falling demand for big capital equipment.