Nov. 5 - Summary of business headlines: Stocks creep higher day ahead of U.S. vote; Apple's latest iPad debut beats analysts forecasts; Stifel and KBW join forces in Wall Street deal. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Investors marked time as Wall Street awaits the outcome of the U.S. presidential election to be held Tuesday. The Dow crept high as did the broader market, following the sell-off the day before. Apple was a bright spot. The company says it sold 3 million iPads in the first weekend of sales, that includes the new mini and the updated traditional size. That figure is double the last iPad debut back in March. Noticeably, Apple did not break out the numbers for the iPad mini, which is aimed at going head-to-head with popular tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire. All the numbers are being scrutinized for early signs for what is expected to be a competitive gift-giving season. Sticking with technology, a lawsuit by Apple, claiming Motorola's patent licensing practices were unfair was thrown out by a federal judge, according to Motorola's parent company Google. Apple could not be immediately reached for comment. Let's look at the two stocks: Apple was up over a full a percent, while Google was down less than a full percent. Deal making on Wall Street. Stifel Financial is buying KBW in a $575 million cash and stock deal. Shares of Stifel gained 2 percent, KBW was up 7 percent. On to the economy now, growth in the U.S. services sector cooled a tad in October but an employment measure hit a seven-month high. And there's relief at the pump. Well some relief at the pump. Gasoline prices saw their biggest drop in almost four years over the last two weeks, according to the closely-watched Lundberg Survey. Now if only the gas stations on the east coast could get some power and some gas - there will be more relief for the region battered by Super Storm Sandy. In Europe, worries about Greece are impacting investor psychology again sending market's lower across the board.