* Disney slides on outlook
* J.C. Penney falls after sales plunge
* Obama, Boehner hold ground in comments
* Dow up 0.03 pct, S&P 500 up 0.17 pct, Nasdaq up 0.32 pct
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
NEW YORK, Nov 9 U.S. stocks advanced on Friday
but failed to make up for what turned out to be the worst week
for markets since June, as investors turned their attention from
the presidential election to the coming negotiations over the
The market gave up some early gains after President Barack
Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, in separate public
remarks, made it clear that partisan sparring would likely
dominate the next several weeks.
The S&P 500 finished Friday's session up 0.17 percent, but it
fell 2.4 percent for the week - the worst since early June.
"At this point, there's no election, and there's nothing else
that can distract. The junk has filtered out and the politicians
will be forced to make a decision on the fiscal cliff," said
Chris Hobart, CEO and founder of the Hobart Financial Group, an
investment management and financial planning firm in Charlotte,
The outlook was somewhat brightened earlier in the day when
new economic data showed consumer sentiment was at its highest
level in more than five years, according to the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan surveys, and wholesale
inventories jumped in September, according to a Commerce
Shares of Walt Disney Co fell 6 percent to $47.06,
dragging on the Dow industrials, after the company reported
results late Thursday. The company said coming results will be
under pressure due to declining home video sales and rising
Groupon Inc's shares sank 29.6 percent to $2.76 a
day after the daily deal company's results fell short of Wall
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 4.07
points, or 0.03 percent, to 12,815.39 at the close. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index rose 2.34 points, or 0.17 percent, to
1,379.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 9.29
points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 2,904.87.
For the week, the Dow fell 2.1 percent and the Nasdaq lost
Tech stocks managed solid gains in Friday's session. An S&P
information technology sector index rose 0.6 percent.
Shares of Apple Inc rebounded from their slide into
bear market territory earlier this week with a 1.7 percent gain
on Friday to close at $547.06.
But the stock of J.C. Penney slid 4.8 percent to
$20.64 and ranked as the S&P 500's biggest decliner after the
retailer reported a sharper-than-expected decline in quarterly
sales at stores open at least a year.
The market's early gains on Friday came after
stronger-than-expected figures on U.S. consumer sentiment.
But investors' enthusiasm cooled after hearing from the
House speaker and the president about the fiscal cliff.
Boehner, a Republican, reiterated his opposition to any tax
hikes on the wealthy late this morning. Obama responded in the
early afternoon by saying there was no way around tax increases,
but that he would remain open to any new ideas that
congressional leaders might have.
The fiscal cliff is a combination of government spending
cuts and tax increases set to go into effect early next year
unless Congress acts to change the law before then. It could
take an estimated $600 billion out of the U.S. economy and push
it into recession.
"There was an anticipation that there may be more
willingness to compromise, but just like Boehner did earlier in
the day, both camps stuck to their lines in the sand, so to
speak," said Mohannad Aama, managing director of Beam Capital
Management LLC in New York.
Investors are reacting to the prospect of higher tax rates
by selling both losing and winning stocks for the year to
decrease the tax impact from their positions.
The euro zone is not inspiring confidence, either. Greece's
finance minister said his country was running out of cash,
growth in Germany is expected to weaken in the next two
quarters, and France's central bank said the country's economy
would slip into recession as 2012 ends.
Germany and France are the the euro zone's two largest
economies, and Greece has been scraping by, thanks to a
International Game Technology gained 5.2 percent to
$13.50 after the slot machine company reported
better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp jumped 14.3 percent to
$16.68 after reporting earnings of $75.5 million, an
above-expectation figure that was boosted by the studio's
blockbuster movie, "The Hunger Games."
According to Thomson Reuters data through Friday, of the 449
companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 63.3
percent have topped analysts' expectations - slightly above the
62 percent average since 1994, but below the 67 percent beat
rate over the past four quarters.
But revenue results remain disappointing, with only 38.2
percent of companies topping expectations - well below the 62
percent average since 2002, and the 55 percent beat rate over
the past four quarters.
Volume was roughly 6.6 billion shares on the New York Stock
Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, compared with the
year-to-date average daily closing volume of 6.52 billion.
Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a ratio of
about 8 to 7 on the New York Stock Exchange.
On the Nasdaq, advancers had the slight edge, with 1,232
stocks gaining and 1,208 shares declining.