After Friday's big down day following a much better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report, the action was muted during the first day of trading after Hurricane Sandy shortened the prior week to three days. In the morning, the ISM's non-manufacturing (services) index showed a slight contraction to 54.2 from last month's 55.1. The index saw a decline in new orders and business activity sub-indexes while the employment sub-index rose sharply.
Over the weekend, the HSBC Services PMI for China fell to 53.5 from last month's 54.3. This was at odds with the official Chinese services index that showed a rise to 55.5 from last month's 53.7. This continued the inherent distrust of official Chinese economic data. Chinese stocks fell slightly amidst mostly unspectacular trading.
In the morning, IDC reported that Apple's
(NASDAQ:AAPL) share of the tablet market fell to 50.4% during the third quarter, down from 65.5% in the second quarter. Amazon's
(NASDAQ:AMZN) share rose to 9.0% and Samsung's
(PINK:SSNLF) share rose to 18.4%. Later in the morning, Apple released sales figures for the iPad mini and next generation iPad. In the first three days of sales, sales surpassed three million units, far exceeding supply. Initially, Apple's stock rose sharply, finishing the day up nearly 2%.
In other news, Netflix
(NASDAQ:NFLX) created a new stockholders rights plan, called a "poison pill," to counteract the nearly 10% stake that activist investor Carl Icahn announced last week. If any individual person or group acquires more than a 10% stake or an investment group acquires more than 20%, the company would dilute the shares held by existing shareholders
Tomorrow's Financial Outlook
The big event tomorrow will be the presidential election. There is speculation that a Romney victory will be positive for stocks (and negative for bonds) while an Obama victory will be the opposite. According to Minyanville Professor Janice Dorn, stocks have risen 100% of the time two days following an election day over the past four election cycles.
Overnight in the US, the Reserve Bank of Australia will issue its monthly rate decision. Last month, the central bank unexpectedly cut its main interest rate target by 25 basis points to 3.25%. This month, economists are expecting a similar cut to 3.00%.
In earnings, NYSE Euronext
(VVUS), Marathon Oil
(FOSL), Discovery Communications
(DISCA), News Corp
(NWSA), Arena Pharmaceuticals
(ARNA), Liberty Media
(LMCA), Office Depot
(DTV), and AOL
(AOL) will report.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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