Dow gains 19 in pre-election trading

The major indexes move ahead in afternoon trading. Apple rises after selling 3 million iPads over the weekend. Crude oil and gold move higher. Investment bank KBW agrees to merge with Stifel Financial. Toyota profits jump.

By Charley Blaine Nov 5, 2012 2:01PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:56 p.m. ET

Stocks closed with small gains today, the last full session before Election Day. It was a day of low volume as many investors and traders began to hunker down, awaiting election returns.

There was some strength in technology shares, in part because Apple (AAPL) said it sold 3 million iPad tablet devices over the weekend -- a possible signal of a strong holiday season. Apple finished up $7.82 to $584.62; the shares had reached as high as $587.77.

Housing stocks were higher, although there was no news. But investors appear to be betting that the rebound in housing activity that began this year will continue in 2013 regardless of who wins the presidential election on Tuesday.

Gold (-GC) settled up $8 to $1,683.29 an ounce, and crude oil (-CL) in New York closed  at $85.65 a barrel, up 79 cents. Brent crude, which many traders believe is a better measure of global demand, also was higher.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed up 19 points to 13,112. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) gained 3 points to 1,417, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) climbed 18 points to just under 3,000. The modest gains came after a strong rally on Thursday and a drubbing on Friday that saw the Dow fall 139 points. 

Article continues below.
The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) was up 17 points to 2,673, with 61 stocks in the index showing gains.

The calm before  . . .
The day  before Election Day is usually fairly quiet -- even in November 2008, when the Dow and S&P 500 closed slightly lower on the Monday before the election. The Nasdaq had a small gain that day. On Election Day itself, the Dow jumped more than 300 points -- and fell more than 800 in the two days after then-Sen. Barack Obama defeated Sen. John McCain.

On Nov. 6, 2000, the day before the George W. Bush/Al Gore election, the Dow was up 135 points, with the S&P 500 up 6 points. The Nasdaq, however, fell 35 points. Once the reality hit that the Florida election count would end up in the courts, the market fell back sharply.

Most polls suggest an extremely close result, with Obama expected to defeat former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Democrats maintaining control of the U.S. Senate. The House of Representatives is likely to remain in Republican control., the Irish betting site, and the Iowa Electronics Markets site, run by the University of Iowa College of Business, see the odds of an Obama win at better than 67%.  Both see narrow victory margins for the president.

The markets are, of course, open on Tuesday. (Actually, until 1982, stocks didn't trade on Election Day.) Earnings are due from News Corp. (NWSA), Fossil (FOSL) and Prudential Financial (PRU).

Futures trading suggests a modestly lower open.

Energy prices -- New York close

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ISM non-manufacturing index slips
In the day's one big economic report, the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index declined to 54.2 last month from 55.1 in September.

Economists projected 54.5. Readings above 50 signal expansion in the gauge of industries that account for almost 90% of the economy.

Sales and new orders slowed. But a measure of employment rose, indicating services firms hired more.

The report measures growth in a broad range of businesses from retail and construction companies to health care and financial services firms. The industries covered employ about 90% of the workforce.

A gauge of hiring rose to a seven-month high of 54.9. The government said Friday that services firms added 163,000 net jobs in October. It was the best showing since February and represented 95% of the jobs created last month.

Netflix moves to block Icahn
Netflix (NFLX) shares were up $1.34 to $78.24 after it announced it is protecting itself against hostile takeovers, less than a week after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a stake of nearly 10% in the online video company.

The company said today it has adopted a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill. A poison pill is designed to make it difficult or even impossible for someone to take over the company without an agreement from the board. When the provision is triggered, additional shares flood the market and make it prohibitively expensive for a takeover.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Icahn called Netflix's poison pill "an example of poor corporate governance" because the company didn't seek a shareholder vote.

A boutique investment bank gets a merger offer
(KBW) jumped $1.7 to $17.47. The investment banking firm, which has specialized on the business in the financial services sectors, agreed to merge with Stifel Financial (SF) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $575 million. Stifel rose 67 cents to $32.58.

FuelCell Energy (FCEL) climbed 12 cents to $1.03. The U.S. manufacturer of fuel-cell power plants announced its biggest order to date. Posco, South Korea’s largest steelmaker, agreed to pay about $181 million for 121.8 megawatts of power plants and services beginning in May, FuelCell said today in a statement.

Transocean (RIG) climbed $2.58 to $48.64. The world’s largest offshore rig contractor posted adjusted third-quarter earnings that exceeded estimates on improved cost control.

Time Warner Cable (TWC) slumped $6.24 to $91.93. It lost 140,000 video subscribers, more than the 128,000 that analysts had estimated. Time Warner Cable has become “top-heavy” after shares gained more than 54%, Todd Mitchell, an analyst at Brean Capital, told Bloomberg News. Its operations also aren’t as strong as those of industry leader Comcast (CMCSA).

Radian Group (RDN) tumbled 55 cents to $4.83 after Barron’s said the mortgage insurer may eventually incur costs for claims that it denied.

Toyota's big rebound sends shares higher
Toyota Motor
(TM) saw profits more than triple in the third quarter, as the company rebounded in a big way from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The disaster crippled Toyota’s supply chain, and kept it from supplying dealers with new cars.

The company is still getting hurt by the strong yen, but has been able to take back market share that it lost in the U.S. after the earthquake. Toyota sold 1.26 million units in the U.S., versus 572,000 a year ago. Shares in New York rose $3.55 to $81.35.

The market sees modest gains
Seventeen of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, and a majority of shares in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 indexes were up as well.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average ($DJT), watched closely as a leading indicator for the economy, was up  14 points to 5,124. The index was up 0.3% last week and is up 4.7% for the quarter.

Energy stocks, materials stocks (especially steel stocks) and tech shares were the leading sectors. Utilities and telecom shares were weaker.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Caterpillar (CAT) and Walt Disney (DIS) were the Dow leaders. United Health (UNH) and Bank of America (BAC) were the laggards.

E*Trade Financial (ETFC), oil services company Cameron International (CAM) and chip-maker NVidia (NVDA) were the S&P 500 leaders. Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Time Warner Cable and Pall (PLL) were the laggards.

Nvidia, Flextronics (FLEX) and Texas Instruments (TXN) were the top Nasdaq-100 stocks. Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) and pharmaceutical company Warner Chilcott (WCRX) were the laggards.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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Nov 5, 2012 3:05PM

Wednesday night prediction:


We'll be able to sit down to dinner with our families without being interrupted by those annoying 'vote for Obama robo calls' !! yeaaaa!!!

Nov 5, 2012 2:28PM

Clinton is out Beating the Drum for Obama.

It's amazing that Obama has gone from being;

"An Amateur", and "Not Qualified", to a seasoned President, Without doing a damn thing!!!!!!!!

Wait. It is, on the other hand, Bill ( "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" ) Clinton..

Nov 5, 2012 2:56PM
This country will keep going downhill regardless of who the so called president is until we replace our congress, senate and fed.Our government needs a total overhaul with term limits put in place for all people in these positions.Big business and the corrupt have destroyed the working middle class(you know,the ones that pay for everything)!Our media needs to be replaced as well, seeing all mainstream news is run by  special interest companies that see only what they want you to see.The stock market is rigged and fixed! Dont think so!? Try finding any news on the biggest scandal in the world right now in our media (THE LIBOR SCANDAL). Just this morning I read how Barkleys is being investagated on rigging California Energy Markets.Bankers in Europe are finally getting popped and I wish they would do the same here!
Nov 5, 2012 2:14PM
"Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."
Nov 5, 2012 3:02PM
Does Obama put the United States First??

Now he will allow the United Nations to "Monitor" our election.  WHY????

It won't be long until they'll be telling us what we can, and cannot do, in our own country! But this is exactly what Obama wants. One World Government. Arab Spring.
He should tell the UN to POUND SAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!!!!

This guy will sell us down the river in a heartbeat, just like he did with our Diplomats and Seals in Benghazi!              NO, he doesn't put the United States First!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!​!!!!!!

Nov 5, 2012 2:22PM
There are far too many people in the world who don't have an opportunity to help select their rulers, er, "leaders".  We are blessed to live in place where we do have this freedom.  So, regardless of who you support, please make sure you vote tomorrow, if you haven't already.

And before you vote, please take a minute to seriously contemplate your choice.  Don't choose someone just because they are a member of a certain political party.  Don't make your choice just based on how someone looks or sounds.  Don't base your vote on a commercial or soundbite or slogan.  And most of all, don't choose someone just because they aren't the other guy.  Make your choice based on who you truly believe is the best person to lead us for the next 4 years.  Vote your principles, vote your values and vote your conscience, even if it means casting your vote for a 3rd party candidate.  If you aren't happy with the 2-party establishment, there's no better way to voice your displeasure than by voting for somebody else.
Nov 5, 2012 2:37PM

A more likely scenario - Romney wins by a narrow margin (more than likely) and Obama & Dems take to the courts to contest the election. It's mentioned only as a brief statement above but this could be a very real outcome. And the markets don't like uncertainty like this at all. Get ready for more polarization of our country from Obama and the poor loser Dems the next few day's.




Nov 5, 2012 2:45PM
all of this obama vs. romney misses the point that they both suck. even if I believed in their b-s promises, the divided congress will ensure that neither of them gets anything substantial and necessary done to fix what's wrong with our country.
Nov 5, 2012 2:17PM
It doesnt matter who win the election because Wall Street is dead set on going lower no matter what happens!!!
Nov 5, 2012 2:33PM
MSN: "Obama's broken promises: Will he deliver if he wins?
The president never fully met expectations set by his groundbreaking 2008 victory -- a disappointment Romney constantly reminds voters of."

Never fully met expectations??? LMAO!!!!!!!  He never even Partially met expectations!!! 

36 straight months of Lower percentages of the Population in the Work Force
RECORD numbers on WELFARE. 
RECORD numbers who's benefits have expired, and aren't counted toward Unemployment.
RECORD foreclosures
We're going BACKWARDS...........​​​.....

But we should give him 4 more years?????
Nov 5, 2012 2:34PM
The polls are typically weighted 6-8 points in favor of democratic turn out. That's about what it was in '08 when the dems were all jazzed up about Obama. McCain / Palin weren't really setting the world on fire.

Anyone who believes the Repubs won't turn out in much bigger numbers this year, is mistaken.

If  the turnout is even, it's a 2 - 4 point Romney win. If the Repubs turn out like the Dems did last time, it could be 6 - 8 points when it's all said and done.
Nov 5, 2012 2:48PM
Mark my words. If obama wins, stock market tanks. If Romney wins its up.
Nov 5, 2012 2:31PM
"Market Wavers on Eve of Election"

Obama makes last minute call to Soros, asking for 48hrs. of Market Manipulation!
Nov 5, 2012 2:30PM
"Perry Performs at Obama Rally"    

Wow! That's the Moral Pillar of Society that Obama wants at His Rally?
Sorry, but Katy Perry singing, isn't exactly the "Performing" that she's noted for!

They must be talking about her performing at the "After Party" with Obama, Clinton, and a box of Cigars!!!!!!!!
Nov 5, 2012 2:53PM
It is easy to see why so many people have lost trust in the government and believe that our country is on the wrong track when for our only real input to it, tomorrow we have the “privilege” of voting for a bunch of middlemen who will then vote the way they wish on the issues on our behalf.
Nov 5, 2012 3:20PM

Will Obama protect our Diplomats and Service People??? I doubt it!

Here’s CBS’ latest release on Benghazi,       NOT FROM FOX;

   "CBS News has released a clip of an interview by Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes on Sep. 12 with President Barack Obama that indicates Obama knew the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was a premeditated terror attack–and suggests the White House later deceived the public by blaming protests against an anti-Islam video. CBS chose not to air the clip for over a month–but did air Obama’s attack on Romney that same night."


    "CBS News has learned that during the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, the Obama Administration did not convene its top interagency counterterrorism resource: the Counterterrorism Security Group, (CSG).

   The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies,” a high-ranking government official told CBS News. “They were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.“

Nov 5, 2012 3:33PM
2012 - REVENGE
Perfectly said, however I wonder who or what the revenge is about.
The Democrats are marching FORWARD, wonder who cut the chains...let's ask Joe.
Nov 5, 2012 3:47PM
I have to admit. I have been dead wrong about Obama.

I used to believe he was the biggest liar and narcissistic in the history of US politics. I now know that to not be the case.

It is David Axlerod. Obama is now in 2nd place.
Nov 5, 2012 3:09PM

The CNN poll was taken with a bias democratic +11 and Romney still leads?



Nov 5, 2012 3:16PM

The historical trends indicate that since the Washington Redskins lost their game before the election, Obama (incumbent) will lose the election. Strange, but true !



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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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