Dow off 121 as post-election swoon continues

Investors worry about the economy, the fiscal cliff and Europe. Disney and Nordstrom earnings disappoint. Apple continues its slide since September. McDonald's monthly sales fall for the first time in 9 years. Gold and crude oil move higher.

By Charley Blaine Nov 8, 2012 2:23PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 10:40 p.m. ET

Stocks finished at their lowest levels since the summer today as another slide in Apple (AAPL) shares pulled tech stocks lower and McDonald's (MCD) reported a surprising decline in October sales.

Apple was down $20.25 to $537.75, its seventh loss in the last 11 days, on worries that production problems are limiting iPhone 5 availability. There's talk investors are starting to ask what the company's next big wonder product might be. McDonald's was off $1.73 to $85.13 and was the biggest weight on the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which fell for the second day in a row.

The major indexes all ended the day below their 200-day moving averages, which are key indicators of investor confidence.

After the close, shares of Walt Disney (DIS) were off 97 cents to $49.07. The company reported fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share, up from 59 cents a year ago and in line with Street estimates. Revenue of $10.78 billion, up from $10.43 billion, missed the Street estimate of $10.92 billion. Nordstrom (JWN) shares also were falling after hours as earnings of 71 cents a share missed the Street estimate of 72 cents.

The Dow closed down 121 points to 12,811, its lowest close since July 25. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was off 17 points to 1,378, its lowest close since Aug. 2. The close for the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was 2,896, down 42 points, and its lowest close since July 23. The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), heavily influenced by Apple, was down 40 points to 2,573.

Article continues below.
McDonald's said same-store sales fell 1.8% in October, as consumers flocked to rivals, including Burger King (BKW), which has been revamping its menus. The company said sales were down 2.2% in the U.S. and Europe. Sales fell 2.4% in its Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. McDonald's contributed more than 13 points to the Dow's loss by itself. Half of the Dow's loss came from declines in McDonald's, United Technologies (UTX), Caterpillar (CAT), Home Depot (HD) and Chevron (CVX).

The Dow has fallen 434 points in two days. That's its worst two-day loss since the blue chips fell 573 points on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2011.

The euro's fall hurts U.S. stocks; oil and gold rise
The euro fell to a two-month low against the dollar after the European Central Bank held interest rates at a record low and said the eurozone economy showed little sign of recovering before year-end.

In addition, a European Union official said a decision on unlocking funds for Greece may not be made until late November. European stocks closed lower. A falling euro (or a rising dollar) makes U.S. exports less competitive.

Crude oil (-CL) in New York settled up 65 cents to $85.09 a  barrel today. Gold (-GC) settled up $12 to $1,724.20 an ounce.

The 10-year Treasury yield was 1.632%, unchanged from Wednesday.

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A nervous market
Investors were probably a little punchy after stocks suffered their worst one-day losses in nearly a year with the Dow's 313-point drop on Wednesday. 

The sell-off was due in part to President Obama's re-election and the uncertainty because of the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that will kick in starting Jan. 1 unless Congress and the White House can agree on changes.

The fiscal cliff would drive the U.S. economy back into recession next year and result in a jump in the jobless rate to 9.1% by the end of 2013, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office said.

The CBO,  the independent budget arm of Congress, said economic output would drop by 0.5% in 2013 without action. But the CBO added the U.S. economy would in the longer run return to better growth rates and lower employment, with the U.S. unemployment dropping perhaps to 5.5% by 2020, The Wall Street Journal noted.

In addition, worries are deepening about economic woes in Europe. Germany's economy is starting to slow down, and political tensions were high in Greece after its parliament agreed to new austerity measures.

The Dow and S&P 500 are off roughly 6% since a market peak in mid-September. The Nasdaq has fallen 9.1% since Sept. 14, when it closed at a 2012 high of 3,184.

If the fiscal cliff takes effect, it will result in an increase in tax rates on dividends.

Because of that potential, Leggett & Platt (LEG), which makes components used in bedding and furniture, accelerated the payment of its fourth-quarter dividend of 29 cents a share to Dec. 10 to qualify for 2012 tax rates. Leggett & Platt was down 17 cents to $26.84.

Lastly, the third-quarter earnings season has produced profits that have met estimates for the most part. Revenues for S&P 500 companies are beating estimates less than 40% of the time, instead of the usual 62%. Part of that is due to slowing non-U.S. business and the dollar's depressing effect on international revenue. If the dollar rises, the value of non-U.S. revenue falls.

The Apple effect on markets
The peaks for the major averages appear to  tracking with Apple's tumble from an all-time closing high of $702.10 on Sept. 19 and a record intraday high of $705.07 on Sept. 21.

The reason to concentrate on Apple is that it is the world's most valuable company, and it has shed about $143 billion in market capitalization as the stock has slid more than 22% since those September highs. Apple represents about 17% of the market capitalization of the Nasdaq-100 and 4% of the S&P 500.

There are lots of reasons why Apple has fallen so much. The stock was up 73% for the year at its peak. By a number of measures, the shares were overbought, and it's vulnerable to violent moves because it is the largest holding of many of the biggest hedge funds. If they start to sell, bad things can happen quickly.

It is possible that Apple is nearing a bottom. Its 14-day relative strength index was below 22 today. The index measures a stock's momentum. A reading below 30 implies a stock is oversold. A reading above 70 suggests a stock is overbought and nearing a pullback.

Another broad slump
Only four of the 30 Dow stocks were higher today: Bank of America (BAC), Boeing (BA), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Travelers Companies (TRV). The laggards were Cisco Systems (CSCO) and McDonald's.

In addition, only 146 S&P 500 stocks were higher, along with 194 Nasdaq-100 stocks.

Chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM, Century Link (CTL) and Verisign (VRSN) were the S&P 500 leaders. Qualcomm's fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings beat Street estimates, thanks to an explosion in demand for smartphones. It boosted its first-quarter guidance.

Verisign and Qualcomm were also the top Nasdaq-100 stocks. Whole Foods Market (WFM) and SanDisk (SNDK) were the laggards.

Whole Foods, down $5.62 to $90.31, offered lower-than-expected guidance for the fiscal first quarter. Results will be hurt by disruptions to its operations in the Northeast by Superstorm Sandy.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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Nov 8, 2012 5:21PM
Seriously, the RWNJs come out in force claiming an Obama re-election is causing this slide, LOL. Forget the real financial situation in Europe and Apple taking a dump since mid Sept. You guys need to get over yourselves. Keep in mind this; Dow Jones in March 2009, "6643" all because of GOP and Bush policies that got us here (yes & 52% of the voters said that still had an effect on their vote). Now what is the stock market doing today? I don't expect a reasoned reply because no one man causes  a whole market to have a minor set-back, so save it.

Anyway sad that not one post is about the financial situation in Europe and the slide of some larger stocks, all due to poor sales.

Nov 8, 2012 5:19PM
How do you guys explain the Stock Market crash under our watch in 2007-2008??
Nov 8, 2012 5:18PM
Elections and utter stupidity have their consequences, enjoy the next four years.  Bidens recovery summer is just around the corner at the bottom of Barry's fiscal cliff.
Nov 8, 2012 5:18PM

We won in 2000 because of the electoral college. Obama won the popular vote too.


The stock market is down because of the fiscal cliff.


Intrade had Obama as a 70% favorite before the election so the market already thought he would win.

Nov 8, 2012 5:16PM

>>>Wall Street sold off 2012 gain for its investors over nothing that has or will happen!!!<<<


Shhhh...  not so loud.  let them sell off some more.  The deals will be great!

Nov 8, 2012 5:15PM

Your 401 was #ucked in 2008 bitch! Damn Racist Right Wing Cracker
Nov 8, 2012 5:15PM
When all of you sell your stocks and the market bottoms out, I will be buying like I did in 2008 and buying big. Nothing better than watching people panic and lose their assets because of Fear.To Quick to sell and always To late to buyback in. You better pull your money out of the banks as well they are about to close down also. Run, run, as fast as you can. Please Sell so I can reap the profits. Please sell I'm begging you. I need more Money.
Nov 8, 2012 5:15PM
Wow, there sure is a lot of tolerance on both sides since the election. Both sides seem to be equally childish reading through the comments.
Nov 8, 2012 5:13PM
Reality has set in.  Revenues and profits are down, the world economy is slowing, the US has more people than ever living in poverty, more retail stores closed in the first 3 quarters of this year than last year and all the propping up of the market is over from the election.  We are in a heap of trouble.  The 10,000 DOW is coming.
Nov 8, 2012 5:13PM
Empty yes they are following Rush Limbaough MF lost his mind
Nov 8, 2012 5:12PM
It's so great to turn on the TV and not SEE or HEAR, MYTH ROBME.......
Nov 8, 2012 5:11PM
It didnt take very long to throw away 2012 gains for the year!! less than 2 weeks and we are back to 1999!!!
Nov 8, 2012 5:10PM
What exactly is a "worthless N..."?
Nov 8, 2012 5:09PM


not until most of the Demoncrats and some Repuglicans hurry up and make energy a top priority in this country. "Energy independence" was the Romney theme which was better than "FORWARD." Granted Romney was flawed and had issues with the 47%. Put that aside and move over to fixing the job market and work together Washington. (I know, yeah, right...)



Nov 8, 2012 5:06PM


Nov 8, 2012 5:05PM

Therse right wingers sure hate this country.I love this country with the education I`ve received

and the job opportunities.We`re living much better than our parents.The market has been

up big time the last few years.If the gun loving, bitter far right hate so many people why

don`t they just leave.This country would be like the old "leave to Beaver" days without

the negative far haters.

Nov 8, 2012 5:04PM
I knew this was going to happen if the worthless N.... for president was re elected. His re election is a absolute travesty to our country and our economy. We are finished and our 401k's are going to be depleted.
Nov 8, 2012 4:59PM
All you losers that voted for that piece of **** illegal alien can now suffer with the rest of us because we working people aren't going to have jobs anymore to pay the taxes that support you lazy, low life pieces of ****. All you lazy **** welfare people are going to see the real problems coming down the road when the free money runs out. It's too bad that we working people don't have a vote to dump you bastards into Mexico, where a lot of  other useless parasites are coming from. Get a job, work for your money or get the hell out of our country. This pile of **** person they call the president of our country is going to destroy this country in the next four years unless someone has the balls to impeach the bastard.
Nov 8, 2012 4:59PM
Wall Street sold off 2012 gain for its investors over nothing that has or will happen!!!
Nov 8, 2012 4:57PM

What does a Democrat call a Republican who has worked in their office for more than 3 months???



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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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