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Market Taken to the Woodshed Amid Political Posturing

the Staff

Despite a solid day of earnings, the market once again got taken to the woodshed. The market opened on firm footing, but the rhetoric out of Washington pushed stocks down. While we think the fiscal cliff will be addressed, until it is, it's likely to be an overhang on the market, and political posturing could be a negative trigger like it was today.

The Australia Stocks and ADRS Index was the top performing tickerspy Index on the day, led by Novogen (NVGN) with a 28% gain. The Chinese Solar Stocks Index was the day's worst performing tickerspy Index, with Trina Solar (TSL) down -19%.

Stocks got hammered, with the Dow falling -185 points to 12,571. The S&P dropped -19 points to 1,355, while the Nasdaq sank -37 points to 2,847. Oil rose 94 cents to $86.32 a barrel, while gold advanced $5.30 to $1,730.10 an ounce.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said retail sales fell -0.3% in October following 1.3% in September. Economists had expected an October decline of -0.2%. Elsewhere, the Labor Department said that both the headline and core producer price index fell -0.2% last month. Economists had expected a 0.1% rise for both in October.

In earnings news, shares of networking equipment maker Cisco Systems (CSCO) jumped 4.8% after the company reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $2.09 billion, or 39 cents a share, compared with $1.78 billion, or 33 cents, a year earlier. Adjusted EPS came in at 48 cents, 2 cents above the consensus. Revenue rose 6% to $11.9 billion, coming in just above the $11.8 billion analyst estimate.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) shares soared 34.5% after the apparel retailer raised its full-year EPS guidance to $2.85-$3.00 a share from $2.50-$2.75. Analysts were expecting a profit of $2.49 a share. The company reported a third-quarter profit of $71.5 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with $50.9 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.17 billion from $1.08 billion. Same-store sales slid -3%. Analysts had expected a profit of 60 cents a share on sales of $1.11 billion. Four pros counted Abercrombie among their top holdings at the end of Q3 and more than 200 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.

Office supply chain Staples (SPLS) reported a third-quarter loss of -$596.3 million, or -89 cents per share, compared with a profit of $326.4 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 46 cents per share on revenue of $6.35 billion. Analysts had expected a profit of 45 cents on revenue of $6.45 billion. Shares of Staples rose 2.6%.

Shares of fertilizer producer Mosaic (MOS) slid -3.3% after the company reduced its potash shipments forecast to 1.3-1.4 million metric tons for the current quarter from 1.6-1.9 million metric tons. The company also lowered its phosphate shipment forecast to 2.9-3.1 million metric tons from 3.0-3.4 million metric tons. Thirty-three pros held Mosaic in their portfolios at the end of Q3 and nearly 1,900 tickerspy members own the stock in their portfolios.

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