Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 7, 2012

Stocks plunge after election; Europe woes deepen

(Continued)

As traders streamed into lower-risk investments, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note plunged to 1.64 percent from 1.75 percent late Tuesday. A bond's yield declines as demand for it increases.

Stocks continue to hurt from lackluster third-quarter earnings reports, Tchir said.

"There's been this whole litany of things that have been dragging down the market for a while, earnings chief among them, and that's still out there," he said, adding that those concerns "play as much of a role as anything to do with the election."

Earnings have been relatively weak, with many companies reporting lower revenue and darkening expectations for the coming quarters.

With more than four-fifths of them having reported, companies in the S&P 500 index say earnings are up about 2 percent over last year, the lowest growth rate in three years, according to data from S&P Capital IQ.

Broad industries reacted to the election much as analysts had expected.

Hospital companies soared because of expectations that they will gain business under the health care law, known as ObamaCare. HCA Holdings and Tenet Healthcare leapt 7 percent, Community Health Systems 6 percent and Universal Health Services 4 percent.

With Obama seeking to restrain the growth of military spending, defense companies could struggle to win government contracts. Their stocks fell sharply: Lockheed Martin Lost 5 percent, Northrop Grumman 6 percent and General Dynamics 5 percent.

Among the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 index, financial stocks and energy companies fell the most.

Banks figure to face tougher regulation in a second Obama term than they would have under Romney. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup fell 4 percent, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs 6 percent and Morgan Stanley 8 percent.

The biggest losers were coal companies, which had hoped that a Romney administration would loosen mine safety and pollution rules that make it more costly for them to operate. Peabody Energy dived 9 percent, Consol Energy 7 percent, Alpha Natural Resources 13 percent and Arch Coal 11 percent.

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