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Apple Misses on Margin Guidance, Pushing Stock Lower


Today's financial recap and tomorrow's financial outlook.

Trading activity was light today in both equities and fixed income. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures traded up overnight before making lows shortly before the market opened. Prices reached that peak at 1,765 during the early afternoon.

Natural gas futures fell 3.9% today on updated weather forecasts that called for above-average temperatures in the US over the next two weeks. MDA Weather Services called for temperatures to be average or above average in most of the Northeast and Mideast by November 11. This followed forecasts last week by Bloomberg that the weather would be colder than usual.

European banking stocks came under pressure today as uncertainty mounted over which banks had the necessary capital for rapidly approaching Basel III regulations. Notable decliners were Banco Santander (MCE:SAN), Unicredit (BIT:UCG), Societe Generale (EPA:GLE), Commerzbank (ETR:CBK), and BNP Paribas (EPA:BNP). All major European equity indexes finished in the negative today.

A popular news item today was a report of insider sales by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) President Tony James last week. James sold 3.25 million shares of Blackstone, netting $88.6 million in proceeds. In 2013, James sold an additional 5 million shares. The large share sales prompted speculation that the executive of the world's largest private equity firm did not see real upside left in equity prices. James stated that he had no plans to leave Blackstone for the foreseeable future.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenues that beat both its own guidance and Wall Street's expectations. It also delivered very impressive iPhone unit sales. However, Apple's first-quarter gross margin guidance was weak, prompting a sell-off.

Tomorrow's Financial Outlook

Much of the backlogged government economic data will be released tomorrow morning. This includes the September producer price index, retail sales, August home prices, business inventories, and the October Conference Board consumer confidence index.

Overnight, Japan will release retail sales and employment growth for September, which should move Treasury markets and currencies. Other global news due out includes the Reserve Bank of India's monthly monetary policy decision. A new governor took over at the RBI last month and raised policy rates at his first meeting on September 20.

Fifty major US companies will report earnings tomorrow. Notable reports include US Steel (NYSE:X), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), LinkedIn (NASDAQ:LNKD), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Yelp (NASDAQ:YELP), and 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD).

Twitter: @Minyanville

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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