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.
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.
Intrade.com, 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|
|Mon.||Fri.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$85.65||$84.86||-0.68%||-13.34%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$2.9829||$2.9474||-2.59%||2.36%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$3.5540||$3.5540||-3.74%||18.90%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$2.6202||$2.5736||-0.38%||-1.40%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
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 (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|
|Mon.||Fri.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.0900%||0.090%||-18.18%||800.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||0.699%||0.728%||-2.24%||-15.78%|
|10-year Treasury note||1.684%||1.726%||-0.12%||-9.99%|
|30-year Treasury bond||2.871%||2.917%||0.70%||-0.62%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||80.843||80.683||1.07%||0.40%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.626||£0.624||1.03%||-2.72%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.28||$1.28||-1.36%||-1.32%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.782||€ 0.780||1.37%||1.33%|
|U.S. $ in yen||80.39||80.52||0.73%||4.26%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.27||6.24||0.56%||-0.90%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$85.65||$84.860||-0.68%||-13.34%|
After all the Bashing over Katrina, people are freezing in the streets, no gas, no power, no aid.
Hey Obama, "Whea's their Dolla"????????????????????????????????????????????
Get out of the market NOW , until the smoke clears.
It's ALL propped up by Obumas henchman (George Soros , anyone ?)
When he loses it will drop like a rock
Hey, thanks for asking, CL.
No power at home but generator working great.
We were verey lucky. No injuries, No damage to home or cars
Should have power by Weds eve.
In the office we have full power
OHH timmy - Time to wake up, let the meds wear off.
THERE ARE ONLY 2 PEOPLE ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRESIDENT
Stop with the divide and conquer BS
.It won't work. No one is going to let the vortes get split to a third party.
EVERYONE knows it's a scam
It's ROMNEY IN A LANDSLIDE, CRETIN
A LANDSLIDE !
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.
ROMNEY/RYAN 2012 !!
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[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks entered the weekend on a mixed note as the S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Dow ended with a gain of 0.1%.
The major averages began the day on a lower note as nine of ten sectors saw losses of more than 0.5%.
The consumer staples sector was the lone exception as the group spent the entire day in positive territory thanks to the relative strength of Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.89, +3.19). The second-largest staple stock advanced ... More
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