Dow falls 59 as late-day gloom kills a rally

The selling offsets decent earnings from Cisco Systems and Home Depot. Techs fall, led by Microsoft and Intel. Michael Kors rises. Gold and oil slip. The major averages have fallen more than 6.6% since mid-September.

By Charley Blaine Nov 13, 2012 5:45PM
Updated: 10:20 p.m. ET

(Reuters) Stocks fell back in late trading today as continuing worries about the effects of the fiscal cliff on the domestic economy pulled the major averages lower and offset strong earnings from Home Depot (HD).

Cisco Systems (CSCO) shares were up 7.4% after hours to $18.12. Fiscal-first quarter earnings of 48 cents a share were up 11.6% from a year ago and beat Street estimates by 2 cents. Revenue was up 6% to $11.9 billion, beating the Street estimate of $11.8 billion.

But it was the kind of sell-off you don't like to see. The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) were up as many as 83 points on the Home Depot news -- and lost all of the gain and then some. Financial and technology shares led the market lower. Also weighing on the market: a rising dollar against the euro, which pushed commodity prices and interest rates lower.

Microsoft (MSFT), down 90 cents to $28.14, weighed heavily on technology stocks after the company announced that Steven Sinofsky, who led the development of its Windows 8 operating system, is leaving the company. Sinofsky had been considered a front runner to succeed Steve Ballmer as CEO. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)

The Dow fell 59 points to 12,756, its fourth loss in five sessions. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was off 5.5 points to 1,375, its third loss in the last five days. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) dropped 20 points to 2,884, its fourth loss in five sessions.

The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), heavily influenced by Apple (AAPL) fell 21 points to 2,562. Apple was up 7 cents to $542.90.

Futures trading suggests a decent open for stocks on Wednesday, much like today. The big question will be if a rally will hold.

Energy prices -- New York close

Tues.     Mon.

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YTD chg.
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(per barrel)

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(per gallon)

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(per mil. BTU)

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Brent crude 




(per barrel)

Retail gasoline




(per gallon; AAA)

The Dow has fallen 6.2% since peaking at 13,597 on Sept. 20. The S&P 500 has fallen 6.2% since peaking at 1,466 on Sept. 14. The Nasdaq has drooped 9.4% since its Sept. 14 high. Apple has fallen $22.7% since peaking on Sept. 19.

The pullback has trimmed the Dow's gain for the year to 4.4%. The S&P 500 is still up 9.3%, while the Nasdaq is up 10.7%. It had been up 22% for the year as of Sept. 14.

Intel (INTC) continued to sag on worries about the future of personal computers, hitting a new 52-week low of $20.18 before closing at $20.28, down 48 cents. Rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said it has hired J.P. Morgan to look at strategic alternatives. An outright sale, however, doesn't seem likely.

Home Depot led the Dow and was the second-best performer among S&P 500 stocks (after Advanced Micro Devices), rising $2.22 to $63.38. The retailer reported earnings that beat expectations and raised its outlook.

Shares of TJX Cos (TJX) shot up $1.09 to $42.06 after the operator of the Marshalls and T.J. Maxx discount chains said its quarterly profit beat Street estimates by a penny a share. The S&P Retail Sector Index ($RLX) rose 6.3 points to 643.

Energy stocks finished lower as crude oil in New York settled down 19 cents to $85.38. Brent crude, traded in London, was off 88 cents to $108.19 a barrel. Gold (-GC) fell $6.90
was also lower in New York.

Technology shares came under pressure after Microsoft announced the departure of Sinofsky. Microsoft shares slid 90 cents to $27.09.

The euro debt crisis and the fiscal cliff weigh on markets
The market was held back in part by the continuing euro zone debt crisis. There were also those concerns about the "fiscal cliff" in the United States, and the debt crisis in the euro zone.

The fiscal cliff is a series of budget cuts and tax hikes that begin to take effect in the new year. Market participants worry that if no deal is reached to avoid going over the cliff, the economy could fall back into recession.

The Dow is down 2.6% this month, with the S&P 500 is 2.7%. The Nasdaq is off 3.1%.

Concerns over the fiscal cliff contributed to the Dow's and S&P 500's worst week since early June last week, with no sign of a bottom despite a drop of almost 3% over the past two weeks.

"The attention in the equity markets has shifted more noticeably to the possibility that the U.S. fails to properly handle the so-called fiscal cliff," Ari Wald, an analyst at PrinceRidge Group, told Reuters.

Wald said equities in developed countries have been outperforming U.S. stocks despite worries about the euro zone's financial health.

In other earnings news, AK Steel (AKS) shares fell  96 cents to $4.50 after forecasting a fourth-quarter loss.

But shares of Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) gained 43 cents to $51.01 after the fashion designer's company raised its outlook.

Charley Blaine contributed to this report.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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Nov 13, 2012 6:04PM
The market might start to suck, so let's all sell all of our stock and make sure it does.

Who is following who.

I know the market is manipulated, but I don't think it needs help to do so.
Nov 13, 2012 6:04PM
Only goes to show you that W/S should have showed this type of fear a month ago.  Perhaps Obama would have not gotten as many votes from all the people who think he's such a great President! Ya, like who would be stupid to believe that one?  I guess all those Hispanics that voted for him don't have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out.  What would they care if taxes went up. As for all the ladies and their freedom of their body, I have no comment on that one!!!!!!
Nov 13, 2012 6:02PM
more like the 'gloom' of another even more disastrous obama regime,  like this is a surprise or something, all of this was predicted and then some, oh and are you lib idiots ready to pay for your own 'mandatory' health care plan?? 'gee why should I pay for health care? I'm young and not sick, what the hell man!' get used to it you pathetic scum that voted this pig in a 2nd time, you're gettin' exactly what you deserve, as long as you burn with the rest of America, I'm content with that fact, you've gained nothing, and lost so much as you will soon realize you parasitic vermin, and I'm cool knowing that fact! the freedom of "choice" has just been lost, what else are you scum willing to part with you pathetic parasites I wonder
Nov 13, 2012 6:00PM
were in for a long scary econmic future
Nov 13, 2012 5:59PM
bengazi ncoverup , lies and deciept obama is still lost in space
Nov 13, 2012 5:58PM
obamas economy dont look so good he he , how bout that jobs report too scared to show it
Nov 13, 2012 5:55PM
Best Buy laying off and closing stores, JCP on it's last gasp and falling, Hosetess Brands closing factories and first wave of layoffs sending 672 to the unemployment line, Sears Holding that owns Kmart will most likely be closing stores after Christmas, Supervalue struggling to stay alive with the drag of their Albertson's division. impending layoffs in defense, and the fiscal cliff.. Not much to base a rally on!!
Nov 13, 2012 5:53PM
The scumbags win every day. Up or down or sideways...
Nov 13, 2012 5:52PM
Nov 13, 2012 5:49PM
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%.

Equities spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the ... More


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