Dow Slides on Weak Manufacturing Data

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Disappointing manufacturing numbers kicked off the week today sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) down 60 points or 0.5%. The Institute for Supply Management said that its manufacturing index dropped to its lowest level since 2009, at 49.5, indicating a slight contraction. Economists blamed Superstorm Sandy and the fiscal cliff for the downturn, and the report helped drown out brighter news abroad as Chinese factory output started growing for the first time in more than a year. In Europe, investors applauded Greece's decision to buy back as much as 10 billion euros in outstanding debt and Spain's move to ask for 37 billion euros in funding to recapitalize four banks.

On the fiscal cliff front, Congressional Republicans announced their own plan, which includes lifting the eligibility age for Medicare and reducing cost-of-living increases for Social Security. The plan would also raise $800 billion in tax revenues over the next 10 years but would keep the Bush tax cuts in place for now.

Turning to individual stocks, DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) led the losers, falling 1.7% partly in response to revelations that the company lied to investigators about its right to use a seed technology developed by Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) . According to Judge Richard Webber, Dupont "knowingly perpetrated a fraud against the court," an incident that is part of its defense in a patent lawsuit with Monsanto. DuPont rejected the judge's claims.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) bucked the market trend today, gaining 0.6% on the heels of its acquisition last week of software maker Cariden Technologies for $141 million. The purchase should help Cisco manage its increasing mobile traffic, and is expected to close by January. Cariden, whose sales are tied to the smartphone market, said its revenues have grown by a compound annual rate of 50% over the last five years.

Finally, November auto sales were particularly strong, boosted by Superstorm Sandy, which delayed late October purchases. Sales from Honda and Toyota jumped 39% and 17%, respectively, from a year ago, while American car makers Ford (NYSE: F  ) and GM saw only single-digit increases.

Find out if Cisco's latest acquisition has got it on the right track in our new premium research report, which features an in-depth look at the opportunities and risks facing the company, as well as key areas to watch. Best of all, the report comes with a year's worth of free updates so you won't have to worry about following earnings reports and other company news. To get started with this exclusive new package today, all you have to do is click right here

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2012, at 3:00 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    The management of any publicly-traded corporation which systematically defrauds and lies to investors, customers, the courts and the public as DuPont executives and their high-price PR flacks and in-house lawyers do, will not inspire confidence in the investment community. DD shares are a case in point.

    In addition to the Monsanto patent case fraud, the Company is currently wrestling with the extremely costly aftermath of its new product fraud, namely the lawn herbicide, DuPont Imprelis. Extraordinarily toxic Imprelis deceptively advertised as "eco-SAFE", "very environmentally friendly" has destroyed hundreds of thousands of mature landscaping trees nationwide. The ultimate total loss, we believe, will tower to $2 billion or more.

    Merely the observation and opinion of one individual retail investor...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On December 04, 2012, at 3:12 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    With hilarious hypocrisy, DuPont executives have come forth with a self-serving PR statement that they have operated in the Monsanto patent litigation in accordance with the "highest ethical standards". That PR flim-flam is worthy of the propagandists in the Peoples Republic of China. ...funfun..

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