Stocks drop sharply as U.S. election day nears
NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell sharply Friday, as cheer over better-than-expected employment data gave way to nervousness ahead of the U.S. presidential election next week.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 139.46 to 13,093.16. The blue-chip index posted a 0.1 percent decline for the week.
The S&P 500 lost 13.39 to end at 1,414.20. For the week the index gained 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite index fell 37.93 to 2,982.13. For the week it dropped 0.2 percent.
After trading flat for most of the morning, U.S. stock futures had turned higher when the government reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 171,000 in October, more than the 120,000 rise expected by economists.
Factory orders increased for September by 4.8%
WASHINGTON — U.S. companies boosted their orders for manufactured goods by the largest amount in 18 months in September, but they remained cautious in ordering goods that signal plans to expand and modernize.
Factory orders rose 4.8 percent in September compared to August, a month when orders had fallen 5.1 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday.
The September gain was the biggest since March 2011 and was driven by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft, a volatile category that had seen orders plunge in August.
Production, prices hurt Chevron’s bottom line
NEW YORK — Chevron said Friday its third-quarter net income fell 33 percent as production declined and it sold oil and gas at lower prices.
The nation’s second-largest oil company earned $5.25 billion, or $2.69 per share, in the July-through-September quarter. That compared with net income of $7.83 billion, or $3.92 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue fell to $55.66 billion from $61.26 billion.
Concerns about economic growth have caused oil and natural gas prices to fall, hurting the bottom line for oil producers.
Ralph Lauren’s 2Q net falls; sees Sandy effect
NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren said reduced wholesale shipments to Europe and a tax cost drove down its fiscal second-quarter net income by 8 percent, and the clothing company trimmed its revenue expectations for the year amid a global economic slowdown.
The company also said that Superstorm Sandy is affecting the current quarter, which runs through December, but it’s too early to tell by how much.
Berkshire Hathaway to buy Oriental Trading
OMAHA, Neb. — Warren Buffett will soon be prepared to throw a giant party for almost any occasion now that his Berkshire Hathaway is buying Oriental Trading Co.
The deal announced Friday will give Buffett ready access to Oriental Trading’s catalog of more than 40,000 party supplies, arts, crafts and toys.
With the acquisition, Berkshire is adding another business based in Buffett’s hometown of Omaha to its portfolio of 80-some companies.
Report: Android is on 75% of new smartphones
NEW YORK — Google’s Android software for mobile devices was running on 75 percent of smartphones shipped in the third quarter, as the search company extended its lead over Apple, according to research firm IDC.
Apple’s iOS system, used in iPhones, was second with a market share of 15 percent.
A year ago Android had 58 percent to the iPhone’s 14 percent. Gains came largely at the expense of BlackBerry and Symbian phones, according to Thursday’s report from IDC.