Business briefs: O’Neal's days numbered

Stan O’Neal, the Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER) chief executive, faced the potential loss of his job over questions about his leadership of the world’s largest brokerage. He lost the confidence of investors after Merrill posted a $2.24 billion third-quarter loss — the biggest amount in its 93-year history. There is growing sentiment on Wall Street that his days are numbered.

LEOPARD

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) delayed update to the Mac OS X operating system is hitting store shelves as consumers are increasingly snapping up Mac computers to complement their iPods and iPhones. Dubbed Leopard, it offers improvements to an operating system that already was widely praised for its ease-of-use and slick interface. Leopard boasts more than 300 new features.

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