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 2:16PM

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?


Oct 31, 2012 2:12PM


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...

Oct 31, 2012 2:15PM
Welcome haters! You have been sorely missed! Let the entertainment commence!
Oct 31, 2012 3:12PM
Thinker, why these people are all not watching The Men Who Built America doc on Hist Channel
is beyond me.  They could learn a thing or two. 
Cant wait until the next chapter....How to buy the Presidency out from under Wm Jennings Bryan.

Please Board Members.  Watch the above documentary and learn how history is really made,...
or bought out.  Whether you are Left or Right or Center- this one is extremely illuminating.

Oct 31, 2012 4:12PM
I STAND FOR FREEDOM of the INDIVIDUAL....and they can have my
whiskey and coke when they pull it from my cold, dead fingers. 

Oct 31, 2012 5:26PM
The FEMA money won't flow till after the election and those effected will be getting pretty grumpy soon.
Oct 31, 2012 2:58PM
Will be a heck of a last hour.....Once again at at 1450 hrs they started to sell off so, slowly but surely we are dropping...Apparently all we had this morning was an 82 points sucker's rally, now in control manipulators are doing what they do best...One long hour to go...More after the close.
Oct 31, 2012 2:54PM
Well, things havent changed a whole lot other than at 1200 hrs they called to accelerate the selling....A bit over 2 hours to go, expect more volatility....Nothing we can do with these cheating crooks...They will try to bring us down a lot more,,,Better believe that.
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 5:05PM
Appearing on the networks this morning, Christie, for the third day in a row, heaped praise on Obama’s handling of the storm.
This will go down in Republican history as Christie's Chappaquiddick......
Oct 31, 2012 5:29PM
Freakin Libtards....They scream that the Patriot Act is a violation of our rights (and it is) but when their lord votes to extend it while in Congress and then ADDS to it while President, they don't utter a word about it. 
Oct 31, 2012 5:53PM
And as long as it continues to look like Obama has a chance to get re-elected the market will continue to decline, the unemployment rate will go unchanged, the government will continue to grow, the money will continue to be wasted and the poor wretched country will continue to slide into the toilet.
Oct 31, 2012 3:57PM

Well I hope the ECoast...Get their power back on ASAP...


I think I might take or need a nap.....OMG..zzzz



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 4:56PM

Appearing on the networks this morning, Christie, for the third day in a row, heaped praise on Obama’s handling of the storm. “The President has been outstanding in this,” he told the “Today” show. On “Morning Joe,” he said, “It’s been very good working with the President. He and his Administration have been coördinating with us. It’s been wonderful.” Speaking on CNN, Christie said that he had been mightily impressed by Obama’s accessibility throughout the crisis. “He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it.” Christie also pointed out that Obama didn’t once bring up politics in their conversations, and added, “If he’s not bringing it up, you can be sure that people in New Jersey are not worried about that, primarily if one of the guys running isn’t."

Oct 31, 2012 5:00PM

To funny as Chris Christie is being interviewed by fox. The question was asked would you allow Romney to tour NJ with you. Just before Christie could answer you could see just under Christie the announcement that Romney would be touring Sandy with Christie. 


The funny part is Christe answered by saying

I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested,” he said. “I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than Presidential politics, and I could care less about any of that stuff.”

Oct 31, 2012 6:16PM
I'm perplexed!  Why is everybody worried about the economy and the financial markets?  Your worry can be alleviated, you can have peace of mind, and you can have ALL THE ANSWERS to your financial woes by simply "clicking" on one of over 330 of Ken Fisher's (Fisher Investments) advertisements "AS SEEN ON TV"..., I mean as seen on MSN Money:  
"Is Another Bear Market Around the Corner?" 
"Should You Be Buying Stocks Right Now?"
"EXCLUSIVE REPORT:  Stock Market Outlook"
"Where Is The Stock Market Headed?"
And the list goes on and on, everything from Annuities to Zulu Tribes (just kidding about Zulu Tribes), but you get the point.  Yes, according to Steve Forbes, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine Ken Fisher is best thing since sliced bread..., I mean the best "Investment Guru" since Benjamin Graham, maybe even better than ole Benjamin!  There seems to be just one small problem, however, since 2008, Ken Fisher's investment performance (% annualized returns) both for individual investors ("Private Client Group") and the PURISIMA Total Return mutual fund (PURIX) is about -- 4.50%, YES, that's a MINUS 4.50%!  Oh, by the way, Fisher has been writing an investment column for Forbes Magazine for over 30 years, so I'm sure that Steve Forbes wouldn't be biased, you think?

Friends, take some good advice from a guy whom recently graduated from the "Fisher Investments School of Hard Knocks"; a former client of Fisher Investments "Private Client Group" (sounds impressive, doesn't it?").  Don't waste your time or energy "clicking" on any of Fisher Investments ads or reading any of his investment propaganda; it's just a pile of sh.., of garbage and a well designed ploy to separate you from your money.  In less than 41/2 years with Fisher Investments, THEY (my portfolio) lost over $90,000 and I paid over $30,000 in "investment advisory fees"  (yes, "they", because "they" picked and bought all the assets in my portfolio with my money)! 
Don Moore

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 5:16PM
Chris Christie is a political genious. He rope-a-doped Obama to waste time in his state away from the campaign trail to go look at the 1%'ers beach front property damage. Another plus is he'll get the rebuild money quickly since Obama thinks he was just kissing his butt.
Oct 31, 2012 5:37PM
Ol' Leroy HAS to show he is handling the East coast disaster. He has shown a total failure in Libya, so it is critical to not fail again.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 shed less than a point, ending the week higher by 1.3%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1%) cemented a 1.7% advance for the week. High-beta names underperformed, which weighed on the Nasdaq Composite (-0.3%) and the Russell 2000 (-1.3%).

Equity indices displayed strength in the early going with the S&P 500 tagging the 2,019 level during the opening 30 minutes of the action. However, ... More


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