Stocks suffer worst weekly loss in 5 months
The major averages see small gains but fall for the week as sparring begins between the White House and House Speaker Boehner on fixing the fiscal cliff. Apple rallies after three big losses. Disney sags. Kayak jumps after merger with Priceline.com.
After two nasty days of declines, the stock market struggled to finish ahead today. It succeeded with very small gains, but the major averages still had their worst weekly performance in five months.
If you want to thank someone for at least halting the losses this week, thank consumers, who are more confident about the economy. Thank Apple (AAPL), which rallied today after three straight declines.
Thank Priceline.com (PCLN), which is buying Kayak Software (KYAK), operator of the Kayak travel site, for some $1.8 billion. Kayak shares were up $8.63 to $39.67.
The wild card for the market today has been Washington and the fiscal cliff -- the mixture of government spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect Jan. 1. Remarks today by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner suggested there remain big differences in approach. Big enough, in fact, the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) briefly fell into the red after Obama said a solution to the fiscal cliff had to be balanced -- some tax increases and spending cuts. Boehner opposes any tax increases.
The Dow ultimately finished with a 4-point gain to 12,815. The blue chips had been up as many as 79 points and down as many as 26 after Obama's remarks. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) gained 2 points to 1,380, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) gained 9 points to 2,905.
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The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX) rose 12 points to 2,584. Apple, which represents about 17% of the market capitalization of the index, rose $9.31 to $547.06. The shares had been as high as $554.88 after falling more than 8% in the past three days.
DIS) were flat today. But the entertainment giant's fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings and outlook disappointed Wall Street, and the shares were down $2.98 to $47.06.
The Dow fell 2.1% for the week, while the S&P 500 was off 2.4%, their worst weekly performances since the end of May. The Nasdaq's 2.6% loss was its worst since the week of Oct. 8.
Those losses were modest compared with the 3.2% loss suffered by Japan's Nikkei 225 Index ($JP:N225) or the 2.7% decline for Germany's Dax Index ($DE:DAX).
But the week still left the Dow S&P 500 and Nasdaq below their 200-day moving averages, a bearish sign for markets. But the market is oversold by other measures, with a bounceback rally at the very least due in the near future.
The big risks, of course, are the fiscal cliff and what happens in Europe.
|Markets for the week|
|11/9/2012||11/2/2012||% chg.||YTD chg.|
|U.S. Dollar Index||81.91||80.68||1.52%||1.72%|
Consumers are feeling better
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary index of consumer sentiment for November increased to 84.9 from 82.6 the prior month. Economists had expected a reading of around 83.
The gains were due to lower gasoline prices and an improvement in both housing and labor markets, according to Capital Research, an economic consulting firm.
Capital Research economist Amna Asaf was skeptical the gains in the index would translate into more consumer spendiing. The fiscal cliff will get lots of news play and may weigh on markets.
|Energy prices -- New York close|
|Fri.||Thur.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$86.07||$85.09||-0.20%||-12.91%|
|Heating oil (-HO)||$3.0055||$2.9554||-1.85%||3.13%|
|Natural gas (-NG)||$3.5030||$3.6080||-5.12%||17.20%|
|(per mil. BTU)|
|Unleaded gasoline (-RB)||$2.6992||$2.6073||2.62%||1.57%|
|(per gallon; AAA)|
A busy week ahead
The fiscal cliff will dominate headlines next week as will changes in China's leadership and events in Europe.
But the week will feature reports on producer and consumer price inflation on Wednesday and Thursday and important reports on manufacturing in New York and the mid-Atlantic states, also on Thursday.
Plus, the Federal Reserve releases minutes of its October meeting on Wednesday.
It's a big week for earnings, including:
- Monday: D.R. Horton (DHI) and Jacobs Engineering (JEC).
- Tuesday: Home Depot (HD), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Michael Kors (KORS) and Saks (SKS).
- Wednesday: Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and Staples (SPLS).
- Thursday: Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), Ross Stores (ROST), Viacom (VIA) and Gap (GPS).
- Friday: Ann (ANN), Foot Locker (FL) and J.M. Smucker (SJM)
The bad news for J.C. Penney (JCP) keeps getting worse. The struggling department-store chain reported today a wider third-quarter loss than Wall Street expected on a nearly 27% sales drop.
Shares fell $1.05 to $20.64 and are off 52% from their 2012 high, reached on Feb. 9.
Today's was the third consecutive quarter losses and sales declines as customers continue to show that they're unhappy with Penney's decision this year to ditch hundreds of coupons and annual sales in favor of everyday low pricing.
The poor results underscore the challenges facing Penney CEO Ron Johnson, the former Apple executive brought in a year ago to turn the company around. Since then Johnson, who masterminded Apple's popular retail stores, has been working to change everything at Penney's, from its stores to its merchandise.
The problem is it will takes years to get it all changed, and the big question is whether its board of directors will wait long enough for the changes to work.
Late today, Standard & Poor's cut the company's credit ratiing to B- from B+. That's deeper into junk territory.
At one point, all of the 10 sectors in the S&P 500 rose today. That list dropped to six at the close. The leaders were technology, health care and industrial stocks. The laggards were utility, consumer discretionary, materials and energy shares.
Boeing (BA), Caterpillar (CAT) and IBM (IBM) contributed nearly 30 points to the Dow by themselves. Twenty of the 30 Dow stocks were higher.
Meanwhile, 271 S&P 500 stocks were higher, along with 52 Nasdaq-100 stocks.
International Game Technology (IGT), medical-device maker Covidien (COV) and Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) were the S&P 500 leaders. Disney, J.C. Penney and Microchip Technology (MCHP) were the laggards.
Research In Motion (RIMM) was the Nasdaq-100 leader, followed by Sirius XM Radio (SIRI). The laggards were Microchip Technology and Nvidia (NVDA).
Separately, Groupon (GRPN) was down $1.16 to $2.76. The online deals service posted third-quarter results that showed slowing revenue growth and a decline of its core business.
But Zipcar (ZIP) was up 96 cents to $7. The car-sharing company posted strong third-quarter results and is still on track to report its first annual profit in 2012.
Oil and gold rise
Crude oil (-CL) in New York settled up 98 cents to $86.07 a barrel. Brent crude in London, the bigger determinant in gasoline prices, had risen $1.99 to $109.24 a barrel.
The national average retail price of gasoline was at $3.456 a gallon, down from Thursday's $3.464.
Gold (-GC) had settled up $4.90 to $1,732.70 an ounce. For the week, gold was up 3.3%, its third-largest weekly gain of the year after the weeks of Jan. 23 and May 28.
|Short hits from the markets -- New York close|
|Fri.||Thur.||Month chg.||YTD chg.|
|13-week Treasury bill||0.0900%||0.090%||-18.18%||800.00%|
|5-year Treasury note||0.639%||0.643%||-10.63%||-23.01%|
|10-year Treasury note||1.613%||1.632%||-4.33%||-13.79%|
|30-year Treasury bond||2.752%||2.769%||-3.47%||-4.74%|
|U.S. Dollar Index||81.098||80.886||1.39%||0.72%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in pounds||£0.629||£0.626||1.48%||-2.28%|
|Euro in dollars||$1.27||$1.27||-1.89%||-1.86%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|U.S. $ in euros||€ 0.786||€ 0.784||1.93%||1.89%|
|U.S. $ in yen||79.62||79.48||-0.23%||3.26%|
|U.S. $ in Chinese||6.26||6.24||0.51%||-0.96%|
|(in U.S. $)|
|(in Canadian $)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|(per troy ounce)|
|Crude oil (-CL)||$86.07||$85.090||-0.20%||-12.91%|
The man is still economically clueless, and of course had no new ideas, besides TAX, SPEND, BORROW and PRINT.
The fiscal cliff is a good beginning. We can go over and then cut another trillion from the budget. No more borrowing, no debt ceiling increases. Just because the President is an imbecile, doesn't mean the rest of us are...
No politician of either party should be allowed to give a speech on a day when the markets are up.
Despite what many think, we don't need wall street; they need us. Also they have forgotten that they are not our bosses, we are theirs; for in the end, it is the people who allow them and the corporations that make up wall street to do business. And they have disrespected us by shipping jobs to communist china, manipulating commodity prices higher, and pulling every other dastardly stunt in the book, all for short term financial gain.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the midweek session on a mixed note. Blue chip listings bolstered the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%), while the Russell 2000 (-0.4%) and Nasdaq Composite (-0.02%) underperformed.
Equity indices began the day in the red, but wasted no time regaining their flat lines. Small-cap stocks were not as fortunate as the Russell 2000 spent the day in the red.
Upon returning into positive territory, the key indices were ... More
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