Oct. 23 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks slump as weak sales and somber outlooks from DuPont, United Technologies, 3M, and UPS dent sentiment; Apple investors find iPad mini price unappealing; Facebook beats sales forecast; Netflix subscriber growth worries continue. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Wall Street is knocked to its knees as weaker-than-expected corporate sales shakes market confidence. Widespread selling - pushing the market to its steepest one-day drop since June. Investors may be realizing that even with the Federal Reserve's cheap money policy the stock market may not be reflecting true reality, says economist John Dunham. SOUNDBITE: JOHN DUNHAM, MANAGING PARTNER, JOHN DUNHAM AND ASSOCIATES (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Eventually it has to reflect actual earnings and actual growth in the economy. So we think that monetary policy has been way too loose, for way too long, and we are very worried about inflation in the medium and short term, even." Facebook says revenues surged 32 percent in the third quarter, which was just above analysts forecasts thanks to mobile growth. Facebook, though was a rare standout. Profits were up at Netflix but subscriber growth for its video streaming service is still anemic. Sticking with technology: Apple finally unveiled the much-talked about iPad mini to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire and other so-called mini-tables. But the more than $300 price tag shocked investors, sending the stock more than three percent lower. DuPont posted weaker-than-expected quarterly sales and cut its outlook for the year. Global demand is dropping so fast the company is slashing 1,500 jobs. And it's not alone. United Technologies upped its restructuring costs, suggesting job cuts are being considered. Revenues at Post-It maker 3M fell shy of forecasts and the company also cut its outlook for the year. DuPont, United Technologies, and 3M, each Dow components, fell on the day. Profits fell at UPS but the world's top package shipper slightly raised guidance for the year. Global shipments are down but UPS expects things to get better. That guarded optimism helped lift shares of UPS by three percent. No optimism, though, across Europe, where stocks tumbled more than two percent in Germany and France and over one percent in the UK.