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

By Charley Blaine Nov 9, 2012 2:26PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:38 p.m. ET

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 (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.

Article continues below.
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.
The Dow's gain would have been more than 20 points higher if Walt Disney (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.
Despite today's gains, the Dow and the S&P 500 suffered their third straight weekly losses and fourth in the last five. The Nasdaq had its fifth weekly loss in a row and seventh in the last eight weeks.

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



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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

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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)
J.C. Penney's terrible year continues

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.

A broad rally fades
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



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Nov 9, 2012 3:53PM
So tell me, Charley, what's the answer?  President Obama and Congress are like a dogs chasing their tails; over the past four years they have accomplished absolutely nothing!  Do you really think the next four years will be any different?  First, we need to put this egregious behavior of Obama v. Congress in perspective.  I believe its mainly just a power struggle -- "personal power" -- both for President Obama and Congress, especially Mitch McDonnell, the senior senator from Kentucky, my home state On National TV, several months before the election, McConnell bragged that his and the Republican Party's main focus  was to make sure that President Obama was "a one term President" (a direct quote).  Wow, now that's really looking out for the welfare of our country.  Charley, I'm neither Democrat nor Republican, but in my opinion, anyone in McConnell's position, no matter what their political party affiliation, should be censured by his colleagues for making such a stupid statement (truthfully, if there is away, he should be kicked out of the Senate)!  It just dawned on me, this is a perfect example of Forrest Gump's famous line, "STUPID IS WHAT STUPID DOES."  WAKE-UP, President Obama and Congress, this GREAT NATION, OUR BELOVED REPUBLIC, is teetering on a "slippery slope!"  Are these morons oblivious to our country's problems; most of the time, it seems as if they are comatose or even brain-dead!     

If you take a more pragmatic approach to these problems, however, it all makes perfectly good sense. All parties involved are financially set for life; they get paid the same whether they do something (the duties and responsibilities for which they were elected) or do nothing (what they seem to do best). They have legislated themselves the very best:  huge salaries, free healthcare, lengthy vacations/personal time/sick leave, etc., liberal and exorbitant pensions, and the list goes on and on. 

Whoa, I'm beginning to feel dizzy and nauseous, something has made me deathly sick!  Sorry, but I have to go before I vomit on my keyboard.

Best Wishes and Happy Hoidays to Everyone,
Don Moore
Nov 9, 2012 3:51PM
MItch McConnel just weighed in... He says that he's going to do everything in his power to make sure that Obama will only be a two-term president.
Poor little turtle... I read your not supposed to pry their shells open.
Nov 9, 2012 3:49PM
BLA BLA BLA> More of the same.Just wait till gas is $7.00 a gallon, then we will see real change!
Nov 9, 2012 3:46PM

I was wondering how long the the righties can keep up the sky is falling sour grapes hate on here, then I looked over at my daughters hampster.  That little guy will run on his wheel for hours at a time, seems like he is having the time of his life spinning his wheel.

Going to be a long anoying year on this form..............

Nov 9, 2012 3:43PM
MItch McConnel just weighed in... He says that he's going to do everything in his power to make sure that Obama will only be a two-term president.
Nov 9, 2012 3:42PM
Charley..get your head out of your butt.  Consumers are not more confident about the economy regardless what these manipulated surveys say.  I wonder how confident consumers will be when the US credit rating gets downgraded again and our cost of borrowing goes up?  Or what about the continued "print and dump" of money in the system to prevent it free falling to where it should be which is below 10,000.  Finally, keep doing your price checks at retail as prices we all pay will only rise.  If you really want to know the origin of the the "Consumer Confidence Survey" all you need to do is Google it and you will see.  Keep smiling Charley!!
Nov 9, 2012 3:40PM
I see Mitt Romney's days of paying 14% Tax rate coming to an end....
Nov 9, 2012 3:39PM
If it weren't for golf and basketball we would be in much worse shape than we are now!
Nov 9, 2012 3:39PM

The correlation of that drop and when President Obama had his speech should tell you guy's where he wants to take America. Sad day today- makes me think of that 60's tune......






How long do think that'll last ?

Nov 9, 2012 3:38PM
Stric and Gusto, I don't know about Boner's make-up, but think he was crying because he realizes now the GOP has been had...
Nov 9, 2012 3:37PM
I think we should tax every TRADE made daily.......Now there is some revenue to be had.....
Nov 9, 2012 3:36PM
Spud..Your rhetoric hasn't improved much,since the azz whipping you got Tuesday night...Kapish?
Nov 9, 2012 3:36PM
Republicans have become the party of the freebies, they want to add trillions in spending, but don't feel they should increase taxes to pay for anything. They increased Medicare, increased Military, increased Home land Security added the DVA, added TARP, added TSA, all these things aren't free Boehner, your party bought this stuff, your party needs to pay for it, life isn't one big freebee.
Nov 9, 2012 3:32PM
I don't know Boehner is doing the etch a sketch
And his make up is running too!
Nov 9, 2012 3:31PM
Double 66's....Sit down next to guy in Casino last night....3-Card Poker..First hand he got with me in Game was 3-6s....I shuddered, he made about $280 bucks, gave $5 tip...Told him he owed me money too for me giving him the hand.....He did not give me a tip.
Nov 9, 2012 3:31PM

Shared responsibility for the RESPONSIBLE, the rest of you leeches keep applying for welfare and laughing at the idiots feeding you......



Nov 9, 2012 3:27PM
Here are 21 reasons why some white working middle class people voted for Obama:

1. We didn't trust Romney who did 180 degree flip-flops from his campaign into the Presidential debates.
2. We didn't like or trust Paul Ryan.
3. Romney showed us he cared more about the very wealthy than the middle class and poor.
4. Many of us think we are wasting too much on wars in the middle east. It's time to bring the troops home as quickly and safely as possible.
5. We PAID into Social Security and Medicare.
6. Many of us don't want new FREE trade agreements that Romney detailed on his website.
7. We don't need another Fascist Supreme Court judge.
8. We need a viable plan and path to citizenship for immigrants who are living in the USA, not self-deportation.
9. We like Obama's math better than Romney's.
10. Many want Single Payer heath care to be the next phase of ObamaRomneycare.
11. We know the states need to take responsibility, but we also know the Federal gov can do things that the states can't do.
12. Women voted for their rights and rejected those who wanted to regulate their bodies.
13. We know that the economy, still has a way to go, but it's much better than it was 4 years ago.
14. We rejected those who said NO to Americans and NO to recovery in the name of partisan politics.
15. We think every child in America, no matter their economic status, deserves a good education.
16. We know that many of Romney's policies were too close to Bush Jr.'s policies which didn't work out too well for the economy or in the middle east.
17. We believe in democracy - not voter suppression
18. Many of us think gays, lesbians, and transgenders deserve the same legal rights as heterosexuals.
19. We want to address climate change with sustainable solutions, and become energy independent through better, more planet friendly ways than "drill baby drill".
20. We reject how many Republicans like Scott Walker are doing whatever they can to crush worker rights by crushing the unions and taking away collective bargaining.
21. We need leadership, not pandering to special interest groups. The Koch brothers can self-deport now and create their own Fascism on an island somewhere else.
Nov 9, 2012 3:27PM

Obama's best move would be to appoint Mitt Romney to his new Secretary of Business.


It would show how "Bi-Partisan" he is, and when SHTF he can blame Romney and destroy the Republican party even more!  It's a win-win in all aspects!  Add to that the media covering his **** the whole way.....


One of these days the 50% that are idiots won't even be able to blame Bush, and the Dems have control for the forseeable future.

Nov 9, 2012 3:26PM

You can't afford that tax Classic....You would claim bankruptcy..Quit blowing that shidt, you're scaring me....


Do they really provide Government Super Weight Depends....How do you know that ??

Do you have the 800 number or the Order address?

Please, they come in handy at casinoes and on long trips...Don't they ?

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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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