Trading was light today on Wall Street as investors await the outcome of tomorrow's election, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Turning back to the day's news, only one economic report was released today, the ISM Services Report, which showed slower growth than expected in the service sector.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) led Dow stocks today, gaining 1.8%. The beaten-down PC-maker committed more than $500,000 to become a platinum member of the Linux Foundation, which oversees a free-open source operating system. Some interpret the move as an attempt to break away from Microsoft
Elsewhere, the health-insurance sector as a whole was down, as the market could be nervous that a Romney presidency would lead to an undoing of the Affordable Care Act. UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) fell 1.4%, as peer Humana also reported earnings below estimates.
Outside the Dow, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) put at least a temporary stop to its long slide, as shares gained 1.4% after it said it sold 3 million iPads over the weekend thanks to the debut of the iPad Mini, a newly released fourth generation of its regularly sized iPad. By comparison, Apple sold just 16 million tablets in all of its last quarter.
Finally, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) caused a stir by announcing it will deploy a "poison pill" to prevent a potential takeover from corporate raider Carl Icahn, who recently announced owning a 10% stake in the company. The home entertainer rose 1.7% during the session on the plan, which issues one right per common share to allow shareholders to buy 1/1000th of a new preferred share at an exercise price of $350. In other words, the poison pill is a way of diluting voting rights to make it more difficult for raiders like Icahn to take over the company. Icahn spoke out against the move, calling it "poor corporate governance."
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Jeremy Bowman owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and UnitedHealth Group. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.