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US stock market daily report (November 08, 2012, Thursday)

November 9, 2012, Friday, 04:05 GMT | 23:05 EST | 08:35 IST | 11:05 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

Investors appeared to be making apple sauce from shares of Apple (AAPL) were smashed Thursday, down 4% and lower by over 21 points into final half-hour of trading. Shares took a beating after reports that its Chinese manufacturer was having trouble keeping up with demand for iPhone 5, due in part to difficulty meeting Apple’s quality standards.

McDonald's Corp.'s (MCD) reported global same-store sales fell 1.8% during October as the world's largest fast-food chain struggles to combat slowing consumer demand amid ongoing economic uncertainty. "Though October's sales results reflect the pervasive challenges of today's global marketplace, I am confident that our strategies and the adjustments we are making in response to the current business headwinds will build sales momentum and drive sustained, profitable growth," said President and Chief Executive Don Thompson. Austerity measures in Europe have contributed to slower global same-store sales growth in recent months.

Advance Auto Parts Inc.'s (AAP) reported Q3 profit fell 15% and cut annual earnings guidance as the auto-parts retailer posted weaker same-store sales while margins improved amid lower costs. Advance Auto said it expects its performance will be hurt for the rest of the year by continued softness in colder weather markets as well as lower overall consumer spending on auto maintenance and parts. "While we are disappointed we did not achieve our profitability expectations, we are encouraged by the improvements in our sales trends, particularly in commercial, from our second to third quarter," Chief Financial Officer Mike Norona said. Advance Auto reported a profit of $89.5 million or $1.21 a share, compared with a profit of $105.6 million or $1.41 a share for same period in 2011. Sales moved slightly lower by 0.5% to $1.46 billion, as same-store sales fell 1.8% and gross margin widened to 49.8% from 49.5%, as input costs shrank 1.1%.

According to reports on Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo fired New York director of emergency management, Steven Kuhr - who has held the position for just over a year - for allegedly diverting an emergency work crew during Hurricane Sandy to his Long Island home to remove a tree from his driveway.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Thursday that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in September to $41.5 billion after exports rose more quickly than imports and trade gap for August was revised to $43.8 billion.

The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday reported that the number of Americans who filed new applications for unemployment benefits - initial jobless claims - declined by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 355,000 in the week ended November 3 however, data was distorted due to Hurricane Sandy. Initial claims from two weeks ago were unrevised at 363,000, based on more complete data collected at the state level. The average of new claims over the past month rose by 3,250 to 370,500. In the week ended October 27 continuing jobless claims - the number of people who already receive regular unemployment benefits - decreased by 135,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.13 million. In the week ended October 20, nearly 5.1 million people received some type of state or federal benefit, up 41,864 from previous week.