Oct. 22 - S&P 500 hits another record as investors bet limp labor market will keep Federal Reserve on hold; Apple tries to float over rivals with iPad Air; Lockheed Martin numbers rise despite government cutbacks; Coach struggles on road to recovery. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Lower hiring, lowers the chance the Federal Reserve will start slowing bond purchases and with that...blue chips climb higher. The S&P 500 sets its fourth record close in a row, and the Nasdaq rallies as well. The U.S. economy added an underwhelming 148,000 new jobs in September. The report, of course, was delayed because of the government shut down. Economists say it looks like hiring was already slowing leading into the political upheaval in Washington. And the White House - not expecting much improvement in October, according to the head of the Council of Economic Advisers - Jason Furman. SOUNDBITE: JASON FURMAN, CHAIRMAN, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In terms of jobs, there's no question that the shutdown, the uncertainty associated with the brinksmanship over the debt limit, are going to reduce the number of jobs we otherwise would've gotten October, and it is a shame because what we want to be doing is instead of moving in the wrong direction with policies like the shutdown, we want to be moving in the right direction." But in a few bright spots, the creation of full-time jobs outpaced part-time hiring... and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.2 percent. That's the lowest since November 2008. It's thinner and faster but can the new iPad keep a growing list of competitors at bay? The new full-size upgrade is called iPad Air. It was launched on the same day Microsoft put its new Surface 2 products on store shelves. Apple also revealed an iPad mini with a retina display and a price drop for the original mini, which faces off this year against a refresh of cheaper Amazon Kindle HDs. A quick review of earnings... Lockheed Martin, the top supplier to the Pentagon, saw higher profits and a better outlook for 2013, but warned 2014 sales will be harder hit by U.S. budget cuts. Coach is still having trouble getting Americans to buy its handbags, though Chinese customers are still in love with the brand. Falling sales, falling profits, lead to a falling stock - by 7-1/2 percent. Investors pressed the rewind button on Netflix after CEO Reed Hastings said the stock is getting too expensive. Shares of Netflix are still up nearly 250 percent year-to-date after a more than 9 percent slide on Tuesday. In Europe, Nokia is trying to stay in the game - launching a tablet of its own. As for markets - they were up hopes the season of cheap money will continue.