The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 16, 2012

Stocks slip on Wall Street; Dell slumps


From The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Stock indexes opened lower on Wall Street Friday. Dell, the personal computer maker, and J.M. Smucker, a food maker, fell after their earnings reports disappointed investors.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 61 points at 12,480 as of 10:05 a.m. EST. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down five points at 1,348.73. The Nasdaq composite was down 14 points 2,823.

Dell fell 65 cents to $8.90 after saying that its revenue may fall as much as 13 percent in the fourth quarter. Dell is suffering as consumers switch away from PCs to less expensive smartphones and tablets. J.M. Smucker fell $3.26 to $82.12 after its sales forecast for the company’s fiscal year disappointed investors.

Investors will also watch for any developments regarding the “fiscal cliff,” as President Obama heads into budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday.

Stocks have fallen steadily since voters returned President Barack Obama and a divided Congress to power Nov. 6, with the Dow losing 5 percent since election day. Investors are worried that U.S. leaders may not reach a deal before tax increases and government spending cuts take effect Jan. 1. The impact would total $700 billion for 2013 and could send the country back into recession.

The Dow is heading for its fourth straight weekly loss, while the S&P 500 is on track for its third losing week out of the last four.

Superstorm Sandy depressed U.S. industrial output in October, while production of machinery and equipment declined sharply, reflecting a more cautious outlook among businesses, according to a Federal Reserve report.

The Fed says industrial output fell 0.4 percent last month, after a 0.2 percent gain in September. Excluding the storm’s impact, production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities would have been up about 0.6 percent.

Among other stocks making big moves:

— Gap, the San Francisco-based clothing retailer, jumped 42 cents to $33.69 after raising its revenue outlook for the year Thursday. The company also said its net income jumped in the third quarter, beating Wall Street expectations.

— Schiff Nutrition International Inc., a nutritional supplement company, jumped $9.83 to $43.75 after U.K.-based Reckitt Benckiser Group offered to pay $42 a share in cash to buy the company.

— Ruckus Wireless Inc., a maker of wireless networking equipment, dropped $1.14 to $13.89 on its first day of trading. That’s a decline of 8 percent.