Dow off 27 as Apple, techs lead stocks lower

Apple drops on worries about iPhone supplies and worker unrest in China. Netflix soars on an upgrade. Facebook falls on a 'sell' call. Alcoa rises ahead of Tuesday's earnings results. Gold and crude oil move lower.

By Charley Blaine Oct 8, 2012 1:11PM
Charley BlaineUpdated: 7:14 p.m. ET

Tech stocks, especially Apple (AAPL), were lower today and were the chief reason U.S. stocks moved down.

Apple finished down $14.42 to $638.17. Also moving lower were Google (GOOG), Oracle (ORCL), Qualcomm (QCOM), Microsoft  (MSFT, publisher of MSN Money) and Facebook (FB).

There were other issues, of course, starting with worries about the third-quarter earnings season, which unofficially begins with Alcoa's (AA) report after Tuesday's close.

In addition, there was continued fretting about global economic growth. And the World Bank cut its economic growth forecast for China, citing property-market troubles and subdued global demand for exports from the world's second-largest economy.

The Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) closed down 27 points to 13,584. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) was off 5 points to 1,456, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) was off 24 points to 3,112. Volume was light.

Article continues below.
The Nasdaq-100 Index ($NDX), heavily influenced by Apple, was off 25 points to 2,787.

After the close, Intel (INTC) shares fell 19 cents, or 0.8%, to $22.32, after Bernstein Research downgraded the stock, citing pricing pressures for the chip maker in the next 12 to 18 months.

Stocks look to open flat on Tuesday.

Crude oil (-CL) in New York and London and gold (-GC) were all lower. The Treasury bond market and banks were closed for Columbus Day.

Crude oil in New York settled down 55 cents to $89.33 a barrel, although Brent crude settled down 20 cents to $111.82.

The national average price of gasoline was $3.818, up slightly from Sunday's $3.814, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The average has been pushed higher by a big spike in prices in California as refinery and pipeline problems squeezed supply. The run-up -- with pump prices jumping nearly to $4.70 a gallon -- caused Gov. Jerry Brown to call Sunday for a quick infusion of winter-blend gasoline.

Gold was off $5.10 to $1,775.70 an ounce. Silver (-SI) was off 55.5 cents to $34.017 an ounce. Copper (-HG) fell 6 cents to $3.718 a pound.

The 10-year Treasury note was yielding 1.746% in the secondary market.

Alcoa may report break-even results
Alcoa finished up 3 cents to $9.12. It is expected to break even for the quarter on revenue of $5.54 billion, down from $6.42 billion a year ago. It has struggled in the face of supply gluts from China and slumping demand in Europe.

Also reporting after Tuesday's close is Yum Brands (YUM), which is expected to earn 97 cents a share on revenue of $3.66 billion. The company has seen big growth in China. So, investors will be watching to see if the slowing Chinese economy is affecting its business. Shares were up 94 cents to $66.94 today.

Apple shares continue to sag
Apple was the the second-worst-performing Nasdaq-100 stock and 11th-worst among S&P 500 stocks. Its huge market capitalization of just under $600 billion makes its effect on the market larger.

The stock is down 9.1% since peaking at $702.10 on Sept. 19. As important, the shares are trading under their 50-day simple and exponential moving averages, a key measure of investor confidence.

Apple has been having issues with the iPhone 5. The mapping program doesn't work properly. There have been problems with scratched cases, and Apple has been struggling to keep up with the huge demand for the product.

In addition, there have been repeated reports of labor unrest at Foxconn's plant in Zhengzhou, China. Foxconn is the big Chinese electronics company that assembles the iPhone.

Energy prices -- New York close



Month chg.

YTD chg.
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(per barrel)

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(per gallon)

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(per mil. BTU)

Unleaded gasoline (-RB)




(per gallon)

Brent crude 




(per barrel)

Retail gasoline




(per gallon; AAA)

Health-insurer UnitedHealth Group (UNH), McDonald's (MCD) and American Express (AXP) were the strongest of the 30 Dow stocks today. UnitedHealth moved higher after announcing it was investing $4.3 billion to buy 90% of Brazil's Amil Participacoes.

Walt Disney (DIS), down 64 cents to $52.33, was the third-worst performer among the Dow stocks, after analysts at Caris lowered their rating on the shares to "average" from "above average." They said the shares have rallied to a fair price for the company. Disney's stock is up nearly 40% this year, fourth-best among the Dow stocks.

Home Depot (HD) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) were the Dow laggards, down $1.32 to $61.88 and 27 cents to $14.46, respectively. The probable cause for Home Depot was profit-taking. The stock is the Dow's third-best performer this year, up 47.2%, and hit a 12-year high of $63.20 on Friday.

Hewlett-Packard was lower as investors wonder if it can ever be turned around.

Facebook fell 51 cents to $20.40 after a BTIG analyst lowered his rating on the company to "sell" from "neutral." He said Facebook's efforts to make money off its services could come at the expense of users' experiences with its services.

Netflix (NFLX), up $6.96 to $73.52, was the top performer among S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 stocks. Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt raised his rating on Netflix's stock to "overweight" from "equal weight."

Used-car dealer Carmax (KMX) was second among S&P 500 stocks, up 2.67 to $31.86. JDS Uniphase (JDSU), LSI Logic (LSI) and Jabil Circuit (JBL) were the S&P 500 laggards.

Sears Holdings (SHLD) , up $1.80 to $58.58, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), up 41 cents to $22.54, were the Nasdaq-100 leaders after Netflix. Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), Apple and Qualcomm were the laggards.

Short hits from the markets -- New York close



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€ 0.771

€ 0.768


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(in U.S. $)


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(in Canadian $)






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(per troy ounce)


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(per bushel)


Corn (-ZC)




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(per pound)


Crude oil (-CL)




(per barrel)


Oct 8, 2012 2:33PM

 We have 154,000,000 workers plus 10,000,000 unemployed, totaling 164,000,000 eligible workers in the US.


The unemployment rate supposedly dropped .3% in September. 

Do the math! .3% of 164,000,000 equates to 492,000 jobs.


Based on a population increase of  192,000 a month in the US, (Census statistic) Add those 192,000 in, and you would have to have created 684,000 jobs in Sept. to drop the unemployment figure by .3%

 I don't think so.

Oct 8, 2012 2:15PM

Ohio - moved from Obama column to toss up
Florida - Romney +3 (Obama was up)
North Carolina - Romney +1 (was a dead heat)
Missouri - Romney +5 (Was a dead heat)
Virginia - dead heat (was Obama +2)
Colorado -dead heat (Obama was +4)

Oct 8, 2012 2:32PM

Obama announces new list of Regulations.


No announcing pending layoffs until after the election.
No commenting on Stock Market articles until after the election, unless the Market is up.
No Presidential or Vice Presidential Debates until after the election.
No issuing Job statistics, until they can be evaluated, and adjusted.
Oct 8, 2012 2:03PM
I was going to dress up like Joe Biden for Halloween but the costume shop was all out of dunce caps
Oct 8, 2012 2:58PM

So why has gasoline gone up $0.15 today in East TN?


  Someone give me a legitimate reason. 


This one is not legitimate; CA refineries. 


 This President is going to drive gas prices to levels that will kill our economy and the middle class.  His stance on coal is also killing jobs.  When we do not have enough real sources to supply the needed power to the already stressed grids, be sure and remember who and what caused it.

Oct 8, 2012 3:10PM

Obama is on record saying the US needs to be paying gas prices that are equal to or higher than Europe. 
Oct 8, 2012 1:40PM
Oct 8, 2012 3:27PM

I like coal, I like the oil sands in Canada. They all can contribute to creating jobs. I like the idea of each state being responsible for their own, without government intervention. Less government, more freedom to grow and expand.


Thank you Mr. Romney.

Oct 8, 2012 3:23PM
3rd round of layoffs are done and 78% of US companies are now lowering profit estimates. Revenues have been down year over year and staffing levels are down to reflect that loss of business in an attempt to meet or beat profit estimates. This is not sustainable and now profit will begin to break down so companies are repurchasing their own stocks to maintain the psychological earnings per share numbers. Defense firms have been pressured to delay layoff notices until after the election. Open ended QE3 is propping up the markets as deficits soar. Where is the silver lining, I only see a cliff ahead.
Oct 8, 2012 2:17PM

Obama was going to dress up like Karl Marx for Halloween but Michelle said he needed to be something different this Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez. 
Oct 8, 2012 3:09PM
Let's all send Joe B a bottle of Black Label. Too bad Ted Kennedy is gone, we could watch him and Joe wrestle for it. 
Oct 8, 2012 2:56PM
"The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million
There's 600,000 MORE going underemployed in Sept.
"In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey."
There's 2.5 Million more that should be on the unemployment record
.Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September.
Oct 8, 2012 3:07PM

"Hey, I just had an epiphany!! If gas goes up enough, Solar Panels will look like a bargain! Gas to $6 before the election!!!!!!!!!!!"
Oct 8, 2012 4:41PM

Unemployment at 7.8% on FUZZY MATH!! 


I just learned why there were over 873,000 jobs created the largest monthly jump in 29 years for a net gain of 118,000 after layoffs. There was a miraculous increase in home based jobs, over a 5% increase in 1 month. The only problem is when the Bureau of Labor Statistics does it's telephone surveys, if the person interviewed answers yes to the question " are you working or doing anything from your home to supplement your income?", you are now considered employed. Even if you walked your neighbor's dog or cut his lawn for $15 a week. That small task counts as a home based business that you work at. Just 4 weeks ago telephone interviews with thousands of small businesses showed small firms were planning to lay off more workers sighting decreased business in their respective sectors. This trend didn't indicate a sudden about face in hiring like the administration would like us to believe, it was a policy change in how employment figures are generated. The BLS followed the new guidelines and can truely say the numbers are accurate.

Oct 8, 2012 3:03PM
Uncle Joe better lay off the sauce for a couple of nights. He needs to be as sharp as possible. Hope he can keep his hands from shaking.
Oct 8, 2012 4:43PM
7.8% unemployment, what great news, such a spin for Obama.  Many people are still unemployed and suffering. Its a shame that Obama is celebrating over this misleading figure!
Oct 8, 2012 2:59PM
These are all right off of the Bureau of Labor's report.

"Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September."

So, take away all the seasonal farm jobs, and we created 118,00 jobs in Sept. Subtract from that the 192,000 needed to keep up with population growth, and the unemployment rate should have gone up..........

Oct 8, 2012 2:30PM
The greedy miserable incompetent oil companies blow up their own refineries. Then as a little reward to themselves for this they raise gas prices by another $1 a gallon.
Oct 8, 2012 4:32PM
The left said Reagan was a war monger back when I was a kid because he took a strong stand with countries that threatened our national security and the security of our allies. All Carter wanted to do is appease with diplomacy, a sign of weakness. We're more likely to go to war when world perception of our country is one of weakness.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The IMF expressed its concerns before the start of today's trading that "excessive risk taking may be building up" with valuations for just about every major asset class looking stretched.

As one can see from the standing of the major indices, that warning went in one of the market's ears and out the other.  Actually, we're not even sure it went in one ear.  The market started with a bullish bias and has maintained that bias throughout today's session.

The ... More


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