The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 5, 2012

Stocks waver a day ahead of election

From The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Stock indexes drifted around the break-even mark Monday, one day before the U.S. presidential election.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged up five points to 13,098 shortly after 11 a.m. EST. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added one point to 1,415, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 12 points 2,995.

Trading is expected to be light ahead of the election Tuesday.

National polls show a close contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The two candidates are spending the final days of the campaign holding rallies in Ohio and other states considered crucial to winning the White House.

A measure of activity among so-called service companies, which employ about 90 percent of the American work force, showed growth in October, but at a slower pace than in September, and just short of what economists expected.

In the market for U.S. government debt, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.68 percent, down from 1.72 percent late Friday.

In Europe, renewed focus on Greece’s economic problems combined with uncertainty over the U.S. election to push stocks lower. Germany’s benchmark index, the DAX, dropped 0.5 percent, and the CAC-40 in France fell 1 percent.

“With the race so close, investors are understandably risk-averse today,” said James Hughes, chief market analyst at Alpari, a London brokerage.

Among stocks making big moves:

— Stifel Financial said it reached an agreement to buy the investment bank KBW in a $575 million deal. The boards of both companies have already signed off, but shareholders of KBW and regulators must follow suit. KBW’s stock leapt $1.18 to $17.48.

— Time Warner Cable lost 7 percent, the biggest drop of any company in the S&P 500. The country’s second-largest cable company posted earnings Monday morning that fell short of analysts’ predictions. Time Warner reported stronger revenue across most of its businesses but lost 140,000 cable TV subscribers in three months. The company’s stock fell $6.56 to $91.61.

— Apple rose $8.09 to $584.94. The tech behemoth said it sold 3 million iPads in the three days after launching a smaller version of its tablet computer. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said the iPad Mini is “practically sold out.”