Stocks see first losses in 3 weeks

Late-day selling pushes the Dow down 17 points; the major averages suffer small declines for the week. The iPhone fans line up for blocks as the new phone goes on sale. Housing shares rise. Hopes build for a Spanish bailout. Gold and oil move higher.

By Charley Blaine Sep 21, 2012 1:02PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 8:08 p.m. ET

Stocks suffered their first losses in three weeks as today's modest rally ran out of gas.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) flirted with finishing at a five-year high but came up short. The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) just missed closing at a 12-year high.

Instead of investors wondering if stocks will reach and then move above their 2007 highs, they'll be wondering for the weekend at least if the big rally that started in June has peaked.

The market's fade came despite big gains for housing shares and the usual euphoria surrounding the first day of sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5.

Apple shares closed up $1.39 to $700.10 after hitting a new intraday high of $705.07.  Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimated lines around Apple stores in New York, Boston and Minneapolis were 83% bigger than they were a year ago when the iPhone 4S was released and predicted sales this weekend would top 8 million units. Sprint Nextel said some of its East Coast stores were sold out by midafternoon.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed down 17 points to 13,579. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was basically unchanged at 1,460. The Nasdaq closed up 4 points to 3,180, just short of a 12-year high, set on Wednesday.

Article continues below.
The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), heavily influenced by Apple, was down slightly to 2,862.

The Dow finished the week with 0.1% loss, its first in three weeks. The S&P 500 was off 0.4%, with the Nasdaq down 0.1%. Still, the major averages are still up nearly 4% for the month.

Gold (-GC) and crude oil prices in New York and London also were higher as the dollar moved lower against major currencies. Gold settled up $7.80 to $1,778 an ounce. Crude oil (-CL) in New York was up 47 cents to $92.89 a barrel.

Markets for the week



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The Apple excitement initially gave stocks a boost. The Dow was up as many as 50 points early in the day. The market was also helped by a Financial Times report that European officials will unveil a bailout plan for Spain on Monday. European stocks mostly finished higher.

The market was buffeted by a number of technical forces. Kraft Foods (KFT), up 18 cents to $41.78, leaves the Dow after today because it's splitting itself in two. It will be replaced Monday by health-insurance giant UnitedHealth Group (UNH).

Plus there were multiple options expirations and a rebalancing of the S&P 500.

Still, the finish will give market bears something to talk about. The fades for the Dow and the S&P 500 at the end of the day were not something to be happy about. In addition, a weak performance today and this week for the Dow Jones Transportation Average ($DJT) will almost certainly raise the question about whether the big rally since June can be sustained.

Lastly, and this is important: The S&P 500 has struggled with resistance at 1,460 to 1,465. The index's Sept. 14 close of 1,466 was its best finish since Dec. 31, 2007.

Energy prices -- New York close



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AT&T, Verizon, Sprint rise on iPhone mania
For most of the day, the Apple excitement extended to the U.S. companies that will support the phone. AT&T (T) closed up 14 cents to $38.08 after reaching as high as $38.58. Verizon Communications (VZ) added 15 cents to $45.64. AT&T was the sixth-best Dow performer, with Verizon the seventh. 

Sprint Nextel
(S) added 21 cents to $5.65, fifth-best among S&P 500 stocks. MetroPCS Communications (PCS) was the fourth-best S&P 500 performer, up 44 cents to $11.63, because it has a new phone to tout: ZTE's Anthem 46 smartphone.

But a loser today was Research In Motion (RIMM), down 45 cents to $6.46 after the company's network was hit by a three-hour service outage in Europe and Africa today. RIM, which reports fiscal-second-quarter results after Thursday's close, was the worst performer among Nasdaq-100 stocks. The shares fell 14.6% this week and are off 55.5% for the year.

Trying to work out a bailout plan for Spain
European Union authorities have been working behind the scenes to pave the way for a new Spanish rescue program and unlimited bond buying by the European Central Bank, the Financial Times said. The goal is to help Madrid craft an economic reform program that will be unveiled next week.
According to officials involved in the discussions, talks between the Spanish government and the European Commission are focusing on measures that would be demanded by international lenders as part of a new rescue program, ensuring they are in place before a bailout is formally requested.

The big question is, of course, if the conditions for any loans would be palatable in Spain, which already has Europe's highest unemployment rate -- 25.1%.

KB Home sets off a housing rally
KB Home
(KBH) surprised investors with a fiscal-third-quarter profit and said its revenue backlog rose to a four-year high as a strengthening housing recovery pushed up prices and demand.

KB Home shares were up $2.15 to $15.26. Ryland (RYL) was up 21 cents to $32.82. PulteGroup (PHM) added 26 cents to $16.98. The Philadelphia Housing Sector Index ($HGX) finished up 2.85 to 167.04 after hitting a 52-week high of 168.79. The index is up 63.6% this year.

"Confidence is coming up," said Williams Financial analyst David Williams. "We're seeing new orders, deliveries, average selling prices, everything is moving in the right direction."

KB Home earned 4 cents per share for the third quarter. Analysts on average expected a loss of 16 cents per share. Revenue was up 16% to $424.5 million.

KB Home's results came as housing starts rose 2.3% to an annual rate of 750,000 units. While that's still about half of the historical average, the rate has jumped 57% since bottoming in March 2009.

Housing, telecom stocks lead the market
Housing, telecom and disk-drive makers were the top-performing groups in the market. Steel and transportation stocks were the laggards.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average ($DJT) was down 51 points to 4,911 and was off 5.9% for the week. The index is a leading indicator for the economy.

Norfolk Southern (NSC), which warned about third-quarter profits after Wednesday's close, was down $1.11 to $65. It was off 13% this week. The railroad's biggest problem is declining coal freight, but it is also seeing weakness in other businesses, such as steel.

Thirteen of the 30 Dow stocks were higher, led by McDonald's (MCD), General Electric (GE) and Exxon Mobil (XOM

Meanwhile, 229 stocks in the S&P 500 were higher, led by Darden Restaurants (DRI), operator of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains; travel site (EXPD), which rallied on a buy rating from Deutsche Bank; and Motorola Solutions (MSI)

And 48 Nasdaq-100 stocks were higher, led by Avago Technologies (AVGO) and Expedia.

The week ahead: new-home sales and earnings from Lennar, Nike and Rite Aid
Next week features some important economic reports and some key earnings.

Here are the economic reports:

Tuesday: Case-Shiller Home Price Index for July and the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index.

New-home sales and crude inventories

Thursday: Jobless claims, second revision for gross domestic product, durable goods orders and pending home sales.

Friday: Personal Income and the September Chicago Purchasing Managers Index.
Here are the earnings reports to watch:
  • Monday: Red Hat (RHAT) and Lennar (LEN).
  • Tuesday: Jabil Circuit (JBL) and Vail Resorts (MTN).
  • Thursday: McCormick (MKC) and Nike (NKE).
  • Friday: American Greetings (AM) and Walgreen (WAG).
Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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Sep 21, 2012 1:40PM



You are absolutely correct...........the FEDs and worldwide Central Banks ALL need to get the hell out of the stock market manipulation business.

Sep 21, 2012 1:32PM



Not to worry folks, Walmart and Kohl's are going to hire 102, 700  part time temp workers for the, LOL, holiday rush this season!  And, they "hope" you'll shop and spend your paycheck while on break.

Sep 21, 2012 1:26PM
Dismantle the FED it is a criminal operation !  QE III =80 BILLION to the Criminal Banking Cartel supposedly to save the Housing Market=cheap mortgages to new homeowners to make them debt slaves of the banks= SCREW THE 10 MILLION UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS THEY CAN LOSE THEIR HOMES ! FED CARES ABOUT ONE THING SAVING THEIR BANKING BUDDIES ! SCREW THE PEOPLE !
Sep 21, 2012 3:57PM
Will Obama be the first president to give himself a pardon as he leaves office?
Sep 21, 2012 3:43PM

Max- After the bust of 1929 Glass -Steagle was put in place to keep the banks out of the brokerage business.  The easy money from the Fed to the banks, the banks trading stocks and issuing stocks caused the bubble to burst. In 1999 Phil Gramm, Bill Clinton and others caved in to the banking lobby and repealed Glass -Steagle and it only took from 1999-2007 for the greedy banks to screw things up again. While I am not a big George Bush fan, he didn't cause the problem then again he knew Freddie and Fannie were about to go bust.  The Fed's job was to protect our money supply from inflation, not create wealth for a select few.


Obama has chosen to keep up the facade of prosperity by allowing Bernanke to remain chairman of the Fed and dumping funny money into the Big Banks and Wall Street.  Glass Steagle needs to be reinstated. The Robber Baronsof the past have never gone away, they were just able to steal less for 70 years under GS.  Now its back to the same scenerio as the 1920's with even more disasterous results looming.Obama had a great opportunity to change this and did nothing because he and his puppetmaster George Soros are both making a killing.  Sure Romney may have investments that bank offshore but I would bet Obama has quite a stash hidden away through Soros.  Anyone that believes Obama is not thinkingabout anyone but himself is fooling themselves.

Sep 21, 2012 3:57PM

College transcripts under all alias's for verification please!!


Sep 21, 2012 3:47PM

How's that CROW taste Harry Reid ?


Save a helping for each of the stupid koolaid drinking libs that post here.

Sep 21, 2012 2:15PM

Mitt just released his 2011  Tax returns    He paid  13.66%    $1,660,000.00    Also over  the last 20 years He has paid an average of 20% income tax. He does not owe 1 cent to the IRS.  


Now tell me about this harry reid  Bull $hit   He paid no taxes the last 10 years.  Go get his sorry A$$  Mitt

Sep 21, 2012 3:52PM
Ropeadope WINNING!! <<<Updated 3:45 p.m. - Mitt Romney paid an effective tax rate of about 14 percent last year, his campaign said Friday while also announcing that the Republican presidential nominee had paid an average annual effective tax rate of about 20.2 percent between 1990 and 2009. Romney made good on his pledge to release his tax returns from 2011 before the election.>>>
Sep 21, 2012 2:50PM
Apple's stock price already reflected the anticipated sales of the 5 phone months ago. The small investor and speculative momentum is driving this stock to unrealistic PE multiples. The big boys will take their profits and the little guy won't get out in time. I suppose we should all be cheering on the Fed. as they are busy creating wealth out of thin air like illusionists at a magic show. If this is the hope and change and the way we are moving forward, we are doomed. Robbing our future to inflate 401k plans for an election. Great plan................for ultimate failure!!!
Sep 21, 2012 4:58PM
Like i said yesterday...Wall Street Welfare recipients temper tampering over their latest entitlement handouts...these losers need to get off the Federal Reserve!
Sep 21, 2012 4:17PM
I hope Mit's strategy is to let Barry flail himself out and expose him in the 9th round. All I heard from the left was tax returns and evil wealth. Now it's time for fraud and deception to be exposed. Going to college as a foreign exchange student to get college grants seems a bit illegal to me.

WOW you can sell the Brooklyn Bridge --


The newest iphone 5 is behind about 1 year in tech from their competition.


my old HTC 4G phone had a 4 inch screen and 4G last last and it's faster than the iphone and half the price.


Gee people are just throwing their money away on iphones.


plus apple is losing market share

Sep 21, 2012 4:01PM
I feel like Ben is on one end of the rope, and the market forces are on the other end. He's sure diggin' his heels in and Obama holds the whip!
Sep 21, 2012 5:57PM
V_L:"You kind of get the impression that they're going to conjure up some disaster to hold off the elections while they dry the paint on the last possible conspiracy.

Eye on the prize... the more desperate they get, the more telling it becomes of who did what on purpose to hurt the rest of us this badly. Dubya didn't ban hanging horse thieves for no good reason, I'm pretty sure it's what you fear when your acts turn out to be treason."

The party has invested a lot of money and I'm sure they want a return on that investment, so since you're talking about money motivated people, who I am quite familiar with, I won't put anything past them.

Sep 21, 2012 3:33PM
Sep 21, 2012 3:17PM
In a touching moment a muslim mob allowed an effigy of Obama one last cigarette before burning it. They said it was the least they could do after he bowed down to the Saudi King.
Sep 21, 2012 6:16PM
several years back i thought i'd formally switch from republican to democrat but what i see in the democrat circles (pelosi, fienstein, brown, davis) is not so attractive either.  

so i piss them all off and vote all over the map"

No one party has the lock on what's best for the country.  Sometimes the thing that worked miracles at one time, may not be the best thing to do this time. You just have to vote with your best gut feeling sometimes after you get as much facts as you can regardless of which party you're in. Like putting on clothes.  You don't want to wear what was best during summer in the winter.

Sep 21, 2012 6:35PM
i took a test once and was declared Libertarian by my selections.  i've told others who thought they were R or D and found simlar tests to take on line and got similar answers. 
perhaps many more of us are truly libertarian and wonder why the R'd and D's just do not represent us. 
>>>>Need a Third way, an independent Peoples Party ..Oh, that sounds too Communist, though, huh? <<<<
Sep 21, 2012 3:36PM
There must be some substance to Harry making land deals. About a year ago my insurance agent told me another agent in the same group was selling Harry a lot of insurance. It seems he has been acquiring lots of property in Nevada. I'll bet if you looked it up you would be hard pressed to link any land or property transactions directly to him. He sure is a fat cat on a senator's salary. Odd for a man who grew up in a 1 room shack with an out house.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session with slim gains after showing some intraday volatility in reaction to the release of the latest policy directive from the Federal Open Market Committee. The S&P 500 added 0.1%, while the relative strength among small caps sent the Russell 2000 higher by 0.3%.

Equities spent the first half of the session near their flat lines as participants stuck to the sidelines ahead of the FOMC statement, which conveyed no changes to the ... More


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