Stocks reopen, suffer first monthly loss since May
The Dow loses all of an 82-point gain as Wall Street ramps up after Hurricane Sandy. Recovery prospects boost Home Depot and Lowe's. Apple sags on management turmoil. Cirrus Logic's Apple business boosts profits. Oil and gold move up.
Updated: 6:34 p.m. ET
After Hurricane Sandy forced a historic two-day closure, the U.S. stock market reopened today and ended the day modestly lower. As a result, stocks ended October with their first monthly losses since May.
Apple (AAPL) fell below $600 for the first time since July as its big management shakeup -- forcing out the heads of its iPhone operating system group and retail businesses -- weighed on tech stocks. Walt Disney's (DIS) $4 billion buyout of Lucasfilm, director George Lucas' production company, weighed on the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU).
But Netflix (NFLX) shares jumped $9.66 to $79.24 after corporate raider Carl Icahn disclosed his Icahn Capital and related entities owned 9.99% of Netflix's shares. The company is undervalued, especially given its international potential, Icahn said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. But he hasn't proposed any major actions.
Meanwhile, the stocks you'd expect to be winners after all the destruction from Sandy were higher. These include Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW), Masco (MAS) and Whirlpool (WHR). Property and casualty insurers, such as Allstate (ALL) and Chubb (CHB), were lower, as adjusters start the process of claims management in the aftermath of a storm that may have caused damages of $20 billion or more.
The Dow closed down 11 points to 13,096. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was up slightly at 1,412. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was off 11 points to 2,977, and the Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), dominated by Apple, was off 18 points to 2,648.
The major averages ended the day down roughly 4% from their September peaks.
Article continues below.After the close, shares of Visa (V) were up $1.74, or 1.3%, to $140.50. The credit-card processor reported an 89% profit gain to $1.66 billion, or $2.47 a share, from $880 million, or $1.27, a year earlier. Earnings adjusted for one-time charges, were $1.54, beating the $1.50 consensus estimate.
Allstate was down 17 cents to $39.98. Shares were unchanged after hours as the company reported decent earnings.
Cirrus Logic (CRUS) shares were up 10 cents after hours to $40.88. The chip maker, whose chips are used in Apple's iPads and iPhones, said sales jumped 91% in the fiscal second quarter to $193.8 million.
Earnings after one-time items hit 79 cents per share, up from 35 cents a year ago. The company sees third-quarter revenue rising to at least $270 million to $300 million in the third quarter. Wall Street has been looking for $238 million.
Stocks stumble in October
The market struggled for most of October. The Dow finished the month with a 2.5% loss, with the S&P 500 off 2% and the Nasdaq down 4.5%.
For the year, however, the Dow is still up 7.2%, with the S&P 500 up 12.3% and the Nasdaq up 14.3%.
One contributing factor to today's decline: The widely watched Chicago Purchasing Managers Index disappointed investors. The index increased to 49.9 this month from 49.7 in September. A reading above 50 signals expansion. Analysts had expected a reading of 51.
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index comes out Thursday.
An overload of data for Thursday
Thursday brings earnings reports from Exxon Mobil (XOM), Cigna (CI), Starbucks (SBUX), Florida real-estate developer St. Joe (JOE) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A).
Auto makers report October sales; Edmunds.com is predicting overall sales of 970,000 units, translating into a seasonally-adjusted sales rate of 12.2 million units, the same as in September.
In addition to the ISM manufacturing report, two important jobs-related reports are due: the Labor Department's weekly report on jobless claims and the ADP National Employment Report, which tracks private-sector employment trends.
But don't look for big market moves before the presidential election on Tuesday.
Crude oil, gasoline and gold futures move up
Light sweet Crude oil (-CL) in New York settled up 56 cents to $86.24 a barrel. Brent crude, the dominant influence on retail gasoline prices, was down 38 cents to $108.70 a barrel. Light sweet crude fell 6.5% during the month; Brent was off 1%.
Oil refineries in the Northeast were struggling to get back online, and the Colonial pipeline, which ships crude oil to the Northeast from terminals on the Gulf Coast, was shut down.
Wholesale gasoline futures moved higher on the potential for shortages in the Northeast, but retail prices continued to drop, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
AAA's daily average for unleaded gasoline was $3.521 a gallon, down from Tuesday's $3.534. The price fell 7% for the month but is still up 7.5% for the year.
Gold (-GC) rose $7 to $1,719.10 an ounce. Gold ended October down 3.1%.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Wed.||Tues.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$86.24||$85.68||-6.45%||-12.74%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$3.0623||$3.0697||-3.07%||5.08%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$3.6920||$3.6910||11.20%||23.52%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$2.6303||$2.6155||-9.92%||-1.02%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
Apple's turmoil pushes shares under $600
Apple was down $8.68 to $595.32 after dropping to as low as $587.70. The shares are down 15% since mid-September and haven't closed below $600 since July 30.
On Monday, CEO Tim Cook forced out Scott Forstall, who was in charge of Apple's mobile operating system iOS and who previously had a close relationship with the late Steve Jobs.
Forstall had refused to sign an apology to Apple customers over the launch of Apple maps in the latest version of iOS, The Wall Street Journal said. Also moved out was John Browett, who had headed Apple's retail business.
Separately, Facebook (FB) was off 83 cents to $21.11 as a 234-million-share lockup expiration originally scheduled for Monday gets under way. Another 777 million shares become available for sale on Nov. 14.
GM and Ford move higher
General Motors (GM) jumped $2.22 to $25.50. The auto giant reported a third-quarter profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates by more than 50% and said it wants to break even in Europe by mid-decade. Adjusted earnings were 93 cents a share, beating the 60-cent consensus estimate. North American and Latin American profits offsets losses in Europe.
Ford Motor (F) advanced 85 cents to $11.16. On Tuesday, the second-largest U.S. automaker reported third-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Ford's North America unit delivered record earnings that made up for higher taxes and losses in Europe. It was Ford's 14th consecutive profitable quarter.
IBM and Home Depot hold up the Dow
The Dow would have been 20 points lower if not for IBM (IBM), which announced it was adding $5 billion to its share buyback plan, and Home Depot. IBM was up $1.26 to $194.53. Home Depot added $1.34 to $61.38.
In addition to benefiting from the Sandy recovery efforts. Home Depot and Lowe's also will prosper if the nascent housing recovery becomes something larger. So will Fastenal (FAST), which makes fasteners and other tools.
PVH was once Phillips Van Heusen and owns a variety of brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, Bass and Arrow. Warnaco makes swimwear, sportswear and lingerie.
Utility and financial stocks were the market leaders; healthcare and energy were the laggards.
On a percentage basis, Home Depot, Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) were the Dow's leaders.
Walt Disney was the Dow's laggard, down 96 cents to $49.12 after its deal with George Lucas. Under the new relationship, Lucasfilm will produce a seventh film in the "Star Wars" franchise. Eleven of the 30 Dow stocks were higher.
Netflix was the top S&P 500 performer, followed by Quanta Services (PWR) and Genworth Financial (GNW). Western Union (WU) and Qep Resources (QEP) were the laggards. A total of 287 S&P 500 stocks were higher.
Research In Motion jumped on news it is testing its BlackBerry 10 platform with up to 50 carriers.
Baidu was hit by downgrades. Verisign shares dropped on news of Justice and Commerce department reviews for Verisign's bid for a six-year renewal of its contract to continue running the .com registry, the Internet's most popular generic top-level domain name.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Wed.||Tues.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.1100%||0.110%||22.22%||1000.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||0.715%||0.761%||13.49%||-13.86%|
|10-year Treasury note||1.686%||1.750%||2.99%||-9.89%|
|30-year Treasury bond||2.851%||2.918%||-5.97%||-1.32%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||79.987||79.987||-0.05%||-0.66%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.620||£0.622||0.13%||-3.73%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.30||$1.30||0.84%||0.04%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.771||€ 0.771||-0.84%||-0.04%|
|U.S. $ in yen||80.00||79.60||2.60%||3.76%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.26||6.24||-0.33%||-1.04%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$86.24||$85.680||-6.45%||-12.74%|
Actually Box...Probably confidence in and a win for Obama.....Historically good.
Problems if Romney gets in.....Historically bad.
And maybe you have been missing the Con. Confidence Reports lately? I think they are UP.
Can you believe that libtard Christie? Sitting there in all that water just waiting for a hand out and living off the dole and all.
If Romney & Ryan get elected, I can just see the commercial -
"Better have your Visa Card ready because Fire & Rescue don't take American Express"
A vote for Romney destroys America.
Corporate profits are up 78% since Obama took office.Thumbs up if you think you`ll
ever hear that fact on Fox news.
Funny, Obama was watching the storm in the 'situation' room at the White House
and photo shows that
and I just wonder if it was the "EMPTY CHAIR" watching our Ambassador and 3 other US men getting killed in Benghazi....??? just wondering!
But then again, when OSAMA BIN LADEN was getting killed, Obummer was watching....hmmm?
STOCK RACKET MOVES LOWER.........
result of Obama winning the elections...
If Romney gets elected, confidence will be back
If Obama gets elected...again...confidence will be gone for good...
I need your help. I support Civil Rights, not a New World Order. How about you?
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the session on a lower note as the S&P 500 lost 0.4% while the Nasdaq shed 0.1%. The Russell 2000, which paced the retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday, added 0.2%, trimming its December loss to 3.5%.
After spending the first half of the session in a steady retreat, the S&P 500 found technical support in the 1772 area. Upon reaching that level, the index reversed sharply, and marched back to its flat line. There was no particular catalyst ... More
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