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.

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%
(per barrel)











Heating oil (-HO)

$2.9829

$2.9474

-2.59%

2.36%
(per gallon)











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)











Brent crude 

$107.73

$105.68

1.94%

0.33%
(per barrel)











Retail gasoline

$3.4700

$3.4750

-1.45%

5.92%
(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.
Treasury yields











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%
Currencies











U.S. Dollar Index

80.843

80.683

1.07%

0.40%
British pound

1.5972

1.6026

-1.02%

2.80%
(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%
yuan











Canada dollar

$1.005

$1.005

0.43%

2.40%
(in U.S. $)

 








U.S. dollar 

$0.996

$0.995

-0.35%

-2.34%
(in Canadian $)

 








Commodities

 

 

 

 
Gold (-GC)

$1,683.20

$1,675.200

-2.09%

7.43%
(per troy ounce)

 








Copper (-HG)

$3.470

$3.482

-1.35%

0.99%
(per pound)

 








Silver (-SI)

$31.1280

$30.857

-3.68%

11.51%
(per troy ounce)

 








Wheat (-ZW)

$8.6600

$8.645

0.17%

32.67%
(per bushel)

 








Corn (-ZC)

$7.3550

$7.395

-2.68%

13.77%
(per bushel)

 








Cotton 

$0.7040

$0.7035

0.47%

-23.21%
(per pound)

 








Coffee

$1.5090

$1.547

-2.42%

-34.29%
(per pound)

 








Crude oil (-CL)

$85.65

$84.860

-0.68%

-13.34%
(per barrel)










 

560Comments
Nov 5, 2012 2:48PM
avatar
Mark my words. If obama wins, stock market tanks. If Romney wins its up.
Nov 5, 2012 2:48PM
avatar

OHH timmy - Time to wake up, let the meds wear off.

HELLOOOOOOO

 

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 !

Nov 5, 2012 2:46PM
avatar
You hire a plumber and he comes out and screws up everything in the house he touches. He calls you back the next day and asks if he can come back and fix everything.
Nov 5, 2012 2:45PM
avatar
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 2:39PM
avatar
hockeydude - if you're so worried about having $ in the stock market with obama as president, why didn't you get out 4 years ago?  Or did you get out then and miss the huge gains since, genius?
Nov 5, 2012 2:39PM
avatar
MisterKyte
We're Covered! ;)
----------------------------------
Yes, but only with a sheet!
 
Brutus.... easy there big fella.... not talking to you (this time)
Nov 5, 2012 2:37PM
avatar

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 !!

Nov 5, 2012 2:36PM
avatar
Stric, I appreciate your concern, but it's not necessary. As of tomorrow, We're Covered! ;)


Nov 5, 2012 2:34PM
avatar
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 2:33PM
avatar
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 UNDEREMPLOYED
RECORD numbers who's benefits have expired, and aren't counted toward Unemployment.
RECORD foreclosures
RECORD Debt
We're going BACKWARDS...........​​​.....

But we should give him 4 more years?????
Nov 5, 2012 2:32PM
avatar
OF COURSE. Anyone that has money in the market is getting readyy to pull their money if Obama gets elected. As a a 1%er, myself and my friends have all pulled our money out and we are waiting to see what happens. If Obama is elected, we will all keep our money out of the market in preperation for the inevitable dive that will happen if a guy that has no economic, business saavy or budget control is our Pres. If Romney is voted in ... all of our money is going back into the market. It's all very simple.
Nov 5, 2012 2:32PM
avatar

MisterKyte,

 Tell Romney & Ryan that I just created a bunch of VOUCHERS FOR PENNSYLVANIA AVE!!
Now all they have to do is find someone in the White House willing to accept them and they're in!

 

PS - Even created a few extra just for you & Brutus!!


No need to thank me, it's the LEAST I could do!!

Nov 5, 2012 2:31PM
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"Market Wavers on Eve of Election"

Obama makes last minute call to Soros, asking for 48hrs. of Market Manipulation!
Nov 5, 2012 2:30PM
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"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 2:28PM
avatar

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 2:24PM
avatar

yeah, it's kinda scary. do you want Homer or Mr. Burns running the country?

Nov 5, 2012 2:22PM
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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 2:17PM
avatar
It doesnt matter who win the election because Wall Street is dead set on going lower no matter what happens!!!
Nov 5, 2012 2:14PM
avatar
"Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."
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