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.

By Charley Blaine Oct 31, 2012 12:56PM

Charley BlaineUpdated: 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; 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

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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 (PVH) was up $18.49 to $109.99. The company agreed to buy Warnaco (WRC). Warnaco jumped $19.70 to $70.78.

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.

Netflix and Research In Motion (RIMM) were the Nasdaq-100 leaders, with Baidu (BIDU) and Verisign (VRSN) the laggards. Forty-two Nasdaq-100 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



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Oct 31, 2012 7:23PM
Hockey Dude,

The only thing you talk about is pulling out a gun.

Try pulling out your pencil that you have in between your legs, that your not to proud of huh.
Oct 31, 2012 7:20PM
Gustavo ... do you have a gun?? If I were you, I'd shoot myself and put yourself and anyone that knows you out of their misery!!

You would you Wacko RIGHT WING NAZI CRACKER 
Oct 31, 2012 7:19PM

Tell that to the people on the Gulf after the BP Oil Spill, they are still trying to recover and he added insult to injury by stopping drilling in the Gulf.


You are worse than MITT WTF  @#$%^@#$%@#$%@#$%
Oct 31, 2012 7:10PM
Hey Barry ... what about Libya?? What about the 4 Americans that died because you didn't have the sack to give an order to put away terrorists that were attacking a group of Americans. Your whole act, on this Sandy thing is so fake .... all I can say is ... "WHAT ABOUT LIBYA?" You showed your true colors then!!
Oct 31, 2012 7:10PM
Recovery? I don 't need no stinkin' recovery. Those rubes will vote for me out of guilt. BHO
Oct 31, 2012 7:07PM
Tubleweed .... I'll lend you my 9 MM and load it for you, so you can do the same as Gustavo .... I'm sure those around you would be delighted to see that you have done us all a favor and pulled the trigger!!! Go back into your basement and try some downers. That way, you can sleep your way through the election and not bother the rest of us with your imbocile comments!!
Oct 31, 2012 7:05PM

 SOMEBODY is gonna make a bundle rewiring the NYC subway system-- and tunnels-- after they drain the seawater out. It probably needed a modernization anyway
Oct 31, 2012 7:03PM
Gustavo ... do you have a gun?? If I were you, I'd shoot myself and put yourself and anyone that knows you out of their misery!!
Oct 31, 2012 7:01PM
 And then the Union Power dudes said the redneck rural community comes last when it comes to restoring power because the blue areas are more populated. Oh well! It will give the Romney lawyers an excuse for an appeal when they lose in Ohio and Virginia because of it. They will be demanding a do- over in those two states, wait and see
Oct 31, 2012 7:00PM
And down, down we go!! The stock market follows the economy. Since the economy is a mess (thanks Barry), the stock market will follow with a downward path of it's own. Do you really think that this country can carry unpayable, crushing debt without the economy hitting the skids?? If you think so ... then you are as economically as dumb as Obama!! If you go back to the siuations in Greece and Spain, there is an incredibly similar scenario that went on. Just follow the trends and you'll see that the U.S. is right in the same path as those countries just a year or two behing them. There is no way that we can pay off the debt that Obama has run up. We are like a family suffering from too many bills and not enough money to pay them!! Good going Barry.
Oct 31, 2012 6:57PM

 "If this was not an election year, he would have done it exactly like he just did."


Tell that to the people on the Gulf after the BP Oil Spill, they are still trying to recover and he added insult to injury by stopping drilling in the Gulf.


He also let Texas Burn and would not release planes to fight the fires.


He also allowed the Benghazi Embassy to be overtaken resulting in 4 deaths......there would have been 30 deaths if the 2 Brave Seals had not given their lives to save most of was a election year and his agenda took priority.


If you people are naive or sinister enough to think this will give him 4 more, then you are as sick as he is. 

Oct 31, 2012 6:56PM
You cannot be a Venture Capitalist and be squeaky clean.

What are you talking about?

He might be a good family man but  once he leaves his family and goes to the office he becmes Pinnochio
Oct 31, 2012 6:43PM

The Mitt-Wit is too squeeky-clean


"Show me a man who has no vices, and I'll show you a man who has no virtues"  ~A. Lincoln.

Oct 31, 2012 6:39PM

Mitt was against Government relief efforts now he is for it.

He never stops selling a pitch huh.

Too much Bain Capital training.
Oct 31, 2012 6:37PM
Hey I am into anything that ends in gasm.

Sorry GOP nitwit but the president did what he had to do.  If this was not an election year, he would have done it exactly like he just did.

Your boy on the other hand is calling his appearance in Ohio a "hurricane relief" effort.

Really, Really
Oct 31, 2012 6:36PM
Resilient market today, we really thought these scumbags would drop us big but we were able to hang in there...Flat to a bit down we take any day...Unfortunately the way things have been going lately it really doesn't help much...If there are any signs that Obummer will get reelected we will sink even lower sadly...Oh well, we will see what happens tomorrow.
Oct 31, 2012 6:30PM

I detected nothing new from the Empty Suit in Jersey....hell, he has been promising for 4 yrs and not delivered one that benefited this Country. 

 Presidents have always projected swift and effective action when a disaster temporarily pacifies the affected and pleases his base.


The locals are the ones that have always had to pick up the shovels and hammers.


It bascially was a needed photo-op that has given the Liberals and Main Stream Media a Obamagasm....yuk yuk.



Oct 31, 2012 6:25PM
Sorry to hear that Don,

I sense a lot of frustration on both sides of the camp.  I think we are reaching a turning point.  Either we change our ways for the better or die mediocre.
Oct 31, 2012 6:24PM
Wall Street is dead set on giving up any gains we got this year. It doesnt matter what kind of news they here!
Oct 31, 2012 6:23PM

Judging from posts online here and other major news sources, Repubs & T-Bags nervous and upset that their Mormon is not going to be elected. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

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