Top 10 News Items for 11/05 - 11/09: Obama Gets Another Four; Apple Slides, Sells; AT&T Looking to Spend Big; JPMorgan OK'd to Buy Shares

November 9, 2012 4:49 PM EST
Top 10 news items for the week ended 11/09:

1. The big news this week is that number 44 is going to stay in office for another four. That's right, Barack Obama was re-elected on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) with a popular vote count of 50 percent to 48 percent and electoral vote count of 303. Much debate could be made about the why and how of the election, but what's done is done. Many are hoping that the division between the House and President will be bridged moving forward so that more good for America will get done.

Next step: fend off the looming 'fiscal cliff.'

2. Markets responded well to the election results, with the S&P, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq showing multi-percent drops for the week. The S&P ended over 2.4 percent lower, DJIA down 2.1 percent, and the Nasdaq fell about 2.6 percent.

3. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) investors become subject of a "test-of-wills" this week, with Apple officially dropping below the 20 percent level usually reserved as a marker for bear territory. Shares slipped below the $540 level on Thursday, before regaining some ground Friday. Overall, the stock ended just over 6 percent down on the week.

On Monday, Apple disclosed orders for the opening sales weekend of its iPad Mini and iPad 4 tablet devices. Overall, about 3 million were sold, which includes the impact and cleanup from Hurricane Sandy on the Eastern U.S., forcing many Apple stores in the region to remain closed.

4. On Wednesday, telecom giant AT&T (NYSE: T) announced plans to invest $14 billion over the next three years to significantly expand and enhance its wireless and wireline IP broadband networks to support growing customer demand for high-speed Internet access and new mobile, app and cloud services.

The move comes as AT&T looks to hold firm group with SoftBank and Sprint (NYSE: S) striking a multi-billion deal in October and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) expected to merger. The sheer size of AT&T and rival Verizon (NYSE: VZ) make pure acquisitions in the wireless sector a tricky thing that comes with many antitrust issues.

To read more on AT&T's plans, click here.

5. The banking sector got a little active this week. JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) disclosed in its quarterly filing that the Fed doesn't object to its capital plan, which allows $3 billion in stock buyback in the first quarter of 2013.

From JPMorgan's 10-Q filing:
"In August 2012, the Firm resubmitted its capital plan to the Federal Reserve under the 2012 CCAR process. The resubmitted capital plan related to the repurchase of up to $3.0 billion of common equity in the first quarter of 2013.

The Firm's resubmission provided for the continued payment of its current quarterly common stock dividend. On November 5, 2012, the Federal Reserve informed the Firm that it had completed its review and that it did not object to the Firm's resubmitted capital plan."

Additionally, the Fed submitted new Street Test rules, allowing failing institutions to adjust dividend and buyback policies before final approval. Submission of the banks' plans must be made before January 7, 2013.

6. Seeking to gain an edge on its peers (Nasdaq: PCLN) and Kayak (Nasdaq: KYAK) announced a deal this week where would acquire KAYAK for $40 per share in cash and stock. One analyst commented, ""While Kayak has a strong brand and is a leading meta-travel player in the U.S., its int'l business is still small and developing. As such, we expect PCLN to leverage its leading international OTA position (and global inventory) to increase Kayak's international hotel room night selection and grow the brand and business."

For more on the merger, click here.

7. Plucky momentum mover Vringo (AMEX: VRNG) was at it again this week, with a verdict in its patent case with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), AOL (NYSE: AOL), Gannett (NYSE: GCI), and others coming in on Tuesday. The company was awarded $30 million plus 3.5 percent running royalties moving forward. Shares ended the week up about 22 percent, though swings throughout the week would give the Coney Island Cyclone a run for its money.

For more color on the litigation, click here. For an analyst commentary on the results, click here.

8. Data from the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index showed slowing growth in October. According to data, the index fell from 55.1 percent in September down to 54.2 percent last month. Economists were looking for a reading of 54.5 percent. A measure above 50 percent indicated expansion in an industry.

Business activity growth slowed from 59.9 percent down to 55.4. a 4.5 point drop.

Employment is growing at a faster pace, rising 3.8 points to 54.9 percent. New Orders growth is slowing, dropping 2.9 points from 57.7 percent down to 54.8 percent in October.

For more on the reading, click here.

9. Crude prices fell to the delight of commuters everywhere (though prices at the pump will likely to remain on the high-side for a while yet). The commodity slipped below the $85 level earlier in the week as fears perked up that economic recovery will remain in stalemate for a little while longer.

Today, OPEC cut its outlook on crude demand, seeing demand down 100,000 barrels per day next year. Market demand will be such that OPEC will need to output about 400,000 barrels per day less next year, or the equivalent of what Ecuador currently produces.

10. Late in the week, news broke that CIA director Gen. David Petraeus submitted a resignation letter to President Obama. In his letter to the President, Petraeus said: "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours."

Petraeus services as Director of the CIA from September 2011 until November 9, 2012.

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JPMorgan, Standard & Poor's, Dividend, Top 10 News Items for the Week, Crude Oil, OPEC, Barack Obama, Stock Buyback


Ron Palillo
Michael Colaizzo on 2012-11-09 20:54:21
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We really miss him.

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