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 3:31PM

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 ?

Nov 9, 2012 3:25PM

luv it, seems reps and rep CEO'S have the time to comment......its all thats LEFT for them to do other than crying in their bonus money........


Data from Star-trek was more human then  their candidate, and poorer and probably could have won


Santaryan aint coming this christmas, but after new year your piece of coal will turn into a tax voted the citizens of the USA!!!!

Nov 9, 2012 3:24PM

Obama approval DOWN to 49 days after the election.......


Gotta love America, stupid ****s deciding the future for everyone!

Nov 9, 2012 3:22PM
I would bet significantly that a good percentage of the voters that voted for Obama didn't have a clue about the fiscal cliff that's coming.  Hell, I bet they never even heard the words "fiscal cliff."  Maybe our forefathers were right in only allowing landowners to vote, figuring they knew what was going on.  A significant amount of voters who don't have a clue what's going on is a very dangerous thing for our country.
Nov 9, 2012 3:21PM
Gomo or Gomer...They don't do the polls in your neighborhood; Sorry..
Nov 9, 2012 3:20PM
" If we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." -
Michele Bachmann

Of course she thinks middle class people should work for NOTHING. Slave wages is what she wants.

Is this what the Tea Party wants???
Nov 9, 2012 3:19PM

Obama's "war on coal",  quote, " your electric bills will necessarily skyrocket".  In that include business and industry. Your purchasing power will go down with less money you have to spent on consumer goods., plus the cost of those goods will rise in price.  And those electric cars will cost a small fortune to charge.  Take note, 43% of electric is generated from coal.  Also refineries use alot of electric to produce gasoline.

Now look out for more taxes for everyone!  Those people getting government hand outs, watch out, the funds will run short as more Americans will go on welfare, you will see cuts in these programs.  The BANK is BROKE!!!!!!!!   Look out for super inflation!!!

Nov 9, 2012 3:18PM
I wonder who will get hurt the most on the deflection of money into the healthcare complex will be?....... Lets see 30,000,000 people x $50 of deductable = $1,500,000,000 .... out of say Dollar General and into med.
Nov 9, 2012 3:18PM

Bob in Florida.....Steer away from that Cliff....Don't be a Thelma and Louise..


Like Jed's neighbors and friends said, "move away from thar" Hollywood is the place to be.

Nov 9, 2012 3:16PM
He's going to Malaysia to meet up with Putin!
Nov 9, 2012 3:16PM
Rally killer, job killer, nation killer
Nov 9, 2012 3:14PM
Oh..yeah, Brutus; FORGOT to mention PRICELESS and all the buy opportunities out there.
Nov 9, 2012 3:11PM
As much money as Wall Sreet just gave away because of there little baby fits this week it could have paid off  the fiscal cliff by itself. Who is the stupid in this deal anyway??
Nov 9, 2012 3:10PM
I have a feeling gained revenue from the top 2% is going to come from closing tax loop holes for this income bracket, instead of raising the rate.....and raising tax rates on some passive income....
Nov 9, 2012 3:10PM
Ok people rethought things a little. Maybe we should go over the fiscal cliff. Sometimes you got to fall in order to get change. John boehner should stick to his guns. If we go over the cliff yes It will hurt but look at this way your taxes will go up but then you may be able to get food stamps  and join the rest of the bums that voted obama back in office. Sad thought but even  if everthing falls apart  maybe we  can rebuilt our value as A stong nation. Sometimes to get a better house to live in you got tare down the old one. I would rather die standing for something rather than fall for anything. I feel There is a lot of lazy people in this country  who want nother more than to watch you work and then live off what you pay in taxes. Nothing more than bums. So come on John boehner hold your ground. Go down fighting thats what thats what makes this country great.
Nov 9, 2012 3:09PM

Brutus....Look at the NASD, S&P and RUT2K.....Quit looking at just the DOW..

You might feel a little better...

You know how they are weighted.

Nov 9, 2012 3:06PM
"Days after victory, Obama steps up to the fiscal cliff"

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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