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 6, 2012 3:51PM

Evil don't fail to mention that their are some(maybe many) that probably also live in Cuba; part of the year...And I know there are quite a few that vacation...


With Americans not vacationing there, is our Government's fault...That is changing.

Nov 6, 2012 3:45PM
Hey Evil Chris, I hear there are a lot of them buying into Arizona too and driving up the market.
Nov 6, 2012 3:28PM
To the Canadian haters a little bit of info, many retired Canadians live in the USA 6 months of the year.  They own homes, pay taxes and are a part of the community.  Which community?  Just one of the keys to the white house - Florida.  They are dual citizens and vote.  Food for thought.
Nov 6, 2012 3:08PM
ALrighty then.....Off on my walk to check the box for those fabulous IRA and INV statements from my two favorite brokerages....Up quite respectably this year, too! 

So, Thanks President Obama...and....


O   B    A    M    A       &      B   I   D   E   N  2012. 

and.....ELIZABETH WARREN in 2016. 

Nov 6, 2012 3:02PM

Yup those dems are gonna need the condos tonight, when the repubes lose the bet and bend over...

The dems will be using the obama phones to call their friends, to say"guess what I'm doing."

Nov 6, 2012 2:41PM

Hey Look Mr. Will.... It's your old friend President Sluggo with the election day stock market update!

What's this, the market's up 170 points?



Nov 6, 2012 2:31PM
EVERYBODY....New business opportunity here....Check out the headline, "China wants Greenland's Resources".

I sense a new path, if we all get in early.  Lets buy into a new venture capital program which will fund China's takeover of  Greenland's natural mineral weath.   Preferred and Common(er) shares available soon! 

Contact: Bain Capital for further information.  They already reserved slots for Nads and Alias.
How peachy! 

Nov 6, 2012 2:10PM
SEE WHAT I MEAN? The truth is in the numbers  Villagers.
Alias post was # 666.....You all know what to do now........

VOTE      O   B   A   M   A        B   I   D   E   N       2   0   1  2

Nov 6, 2012 2:01PM
Alias Barry Soetoro

I hear they are giving out free condoms and Obama FONES out in Philly, Chicago, Detroit at the polling stations.



I still have a few of those PENNSYLVANIA AVE VOUCHERS left.... Saving that one with Sanny Claus on it for you though. 

Nov 6, 2012 1:58PM
“You’re laughing, but who wants a president who will knowingly, repeatedly tell you something he knows is not true?” Clinton asked, after discounting a claim in a recent Romney ad that the Obama administration’s auto bailout hurt American workers.


Nov 6, 2012 1:20PM
Anyway, read the rest of the article, please, then Be A Decider like your hero DUBYA. ...

The gist of it is....Vulture Capital has some highlights like Staples and etc.
HOWEVER, the majority of its Gains came via great PAIN from the regular workers
so that the PAIN in BAIN fell mainly on the PLAIN (folks)....

All in all a wonderful way to generate instant profits....I wish I had thought of it.
Fortunately for all of you, some of us were born with a conscience. 

Nov 6, 2012 1:18PM
That has always been a dilemma  for the wealthy in this country in controlling the government.  If they take too much money out of the economy (by tax preferences; inheritance tax reductions, etc.), they make more poor people who would vote against their interests.  Deficit spending by the government can hide this wealth transfer, but eventually has to be paid back.  Since the poor are already poor, it falls on those who have assets / wealth.  The wealthy is trying to make the middle class pay for the payback. The decline of 8% of the middle class into the lower class is just the beginning.  The ranks of the unemployed swell and employers will continue to pressure workers to accept less and less for their services.  Deflation occurs and the GDP falls as fewer and fewer of the masses has the money / assets to purchase and the deflationary spiral continues until you have a large poor class and a small wealth class and a small GDP. Third world status is achieved as the poor become destitute, unhealthy, uneducated, unproductive, and restive.
Nov 6, 2012 1:17PM
I find this part most fascinating, Captain....

Securities and Exchange Commission documents obtained by reveal thousands of job losses followed Bain acquisitions. At KB Toys, more than 10,000 workers nationwide received pink slips.


Which is why many of those former workers are asking: Why is Romney pointing to his record at Bain Capital and calling himself a jobs creator?


More than a dozen former employees of KB Toys agreed to talk to MSN Money for this story. Most said they are registered as Republicans or independents. Nearly all voted for a Republican presidential candidate in recent years, including George W. Bush and John McCain.


And each one holds Bain and Romney responsible for his or her job loss -- even the two former workers who are considering voting for Romney on Tuesday.  TALK ABOUT VOTING AGAINST ONE'S BEST INTERESTS, PEOPLE !!!

Nov 6, 2012 1:05PM
Interesting data coming from Rasmussen this morning.  They have Romney leading 49-48 in their final national poll of likely voters.  However, 52% of respondents said they believed Obama would win, while just 38% said they believed Romney would win.  77% of respondents identified themselves as excited about choosing between Romney and Obama, while 21% said they would be voting for the lesser of 2 evils.
Nov 6, 2012 1:04PM

Would be interest to see what Romney would do with the FED and with his taking the helm of the country if he won.  I wonder if the Democrats would be obstructionists as payback for what the Republicans did and try to make Romney a one-and-done?

Probably not, though.  It's was easy for the Republicans to block everything since their wealthier constituents can weather the storm better by laying off workers, or cutting back spending, while the poor cannot and will demand action from their congressional representatives.

Nov 6, 2012 12:40PM
Not to change the subject, but did anyone notice the 'scumbags' got by CGT1 today? Yes,....
The market is up 127 due to the imminent Obama win.  I guess those were all speculator, eh?

Nov 6, 2012 12:34PM
Nov 6, 2012 12:25PM
Interesting little ditty from the other page... Title:
Bain Capital, KB Toys and 10,000 pink slips

Bain Capital is the famous -- critics say infamous -- investment giant founded and run so successfully by Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney.


In his 15-year stretch as CEO, Romney gained a reputation as a talented and focused deal maker, helping Bain amass what is now a $66 billion portfolio. Romney's worth is estimated at $250 million.

Simpson and her former coworkers know, perhaps better than most, that the purpose of a leveraged buyout -- what Bain undertook with KB Toys in 2000 -- is not to create jobs or even to preserve them. It is to make money for investors.


And to that end, Bain fulfilled its mission. Bain Capital made 4.7 times its investment in KB Toys, according to published reports and a filed against Bain by creditors.

NOTE: I dont want to prejudice the jury here but check this part out...

"They have a fiduciary duty to their investors. They have no fiduciary duty to employees," said William Birdthistle, an associate professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law who studies the private equity sector. "It's possible that jobs are a byproduct. But if I had to put money on it, I'd say it's far more likely that you'd lose jobs."

*****   Hmm, could this be the same "job creator" as we are seeing now? Will it turn out that Mitt's 'fudiciary duty to his investors' will be paramount and if the people get some crumbs,

how lucky we will be?  Or will we be called lowlifes, scum and freeloaders for merely trying to pick those crumbs up?  Dont give this wallet filching, vote buying, arrogant rich boy the chance, please....

O   B   A   M   A   &   B  I  D  E  N   2012..............LIZ WARREN THEREAFTER. 

Nov 6, 2012 12:25PM


"From the same WSJ article:
"Ken Adams said his 10 Subway restaurant franchises in Michigan have about 60 employees who work 30 hours or more in a given week. Before year-end he plans to cut their hours to below 30 and, in some cases, to reduce positions altogether, he said. A Subway corporate spokesman said it was up to individual franchisees to make such decisions."
Doesn't sound like a very merry Christmas for those 60 employees. There are plenty of people who work fast food jobs to support their children and families - we're not just talking about high school or college kids."

This trend has been going on for a while, but was slower since employers were trying to keep "trained" staff.
In the continuing "race to the bottom for workers," since there is so many workers looking for so few jobs, employers are now comfortable limiting workers' benefits because they figure they can replace them, or expect them to just accept those terms since other employment opportunities are limited. Once one sector does this, all others in that job sector follows so as to be competitive with their peers.  "Serfdom," coming soon to a job near you. 

Nov 6, 2012 12:11PM
The party of NO in Congress decided it was more important to focus on the election of 2012 than recovery for the PAST (almost) FOUR YEARS.

That's how much they care about Americans.

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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%).

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