Late losses erase early stock gains
NEW YORK, Nov. 13 (UPI) — U.S. stocks shed midday gains Tuesday following slumps in most of Asia and Europe.
Technology stocks hung back early, taking a hit when Microsoft Corp. gave up 4 percent on the departure of Steven Sinofsky, who was the president of the Windows division.
Facebook, also listed on the Nasdaq exchange, fell 1 percent to $19.86 per share.
In the background, investors were concerned about the European Union praising Greece but holding back on the next $40 billion disbursement of their international rescue package. In the United States, tension is mounting post election about the possibility of Congress and the White House failing to agree on a budget that would prevent the government from running over the so-called fiscal cliff, a Draconian austerity budget many economists believe would trigger a second recession.
By close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 58.90 points or 0.46 percent to 12,756.18.
The Nasdaq was off 20.37 points or 0.7 percent to 2,883.89.
The Standard and Poor’s 500 dropped 5.50 points or 0.4 percent to 1,374.53.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 980 stocks advanced and 2,072 declined on a volume of 3.4 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury was off 2/32, yielding 1.6 percent.
The euro fell to $1.2702 from Monday’s $1.2709. Against the yen, the dollar was 79.46 from 79.49 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 0.18 percent, 15.39 points, to 8,661.05.
In London, the FTSE 100 index recovered lost ground late in the day, adding 18.98 points, 0.33 percent, to 5,786.25.
Tesla wins coveted Car of the Year
NEW YORK, Nov. 13 (UPI) — Motor Trend said that without reservation the magazine’s Car of the Year for 2013 is the Tesla Model S, an all-electric car made in California.
The Model S beat out 25 total entrees for the award and the 11 finalists. In the end, "The vehicles that placed second and third didn’t get more than three votes. But it was unanimous for the Tesla Model S," the magazine’s editor in chief, Ed Loh, said in an article about this year’s award.
In a release Tesla made note that it was the first time the prestigious engineering award was given to an automaker by a unanimous vote.
The car is sold in with three driving ranges with the top end model capable of driving 300 miles on one charge. It can hold seven passengers and plenty of cargo, as it has no motor and can use the trunk in the back and the engine space in the front as storage space, CNNMoney reported Tuesday.
The price ranges from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the driving range.
But editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie said, "At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel."
The magazine said the car was "as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce." On top of that performance, it is sold as a luxury car with the carrying capacity of an SUV.
To compete for the award, a car has to be either new or substantially redesigned. The competition this year included Ford Fusion, Porsche Boxster, BMW 3-series, Lexus GS, and Subaru BRZ.
Aside from making history as the first car to earn unanimous approval from the judges, it is also the first all-electric car to win the award automakers covet.
Aside from bragging rights, the niche automaker, which expects to sell about 3,200 Model S cars by the end of the year, also has something to prove, said Elon Musk, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
"Our aspiration with the Model S was to show that an electric car truly can be better than any gasoline car, which is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport," Musk said.
Chinese consumers swarm online sales event
BEIJING, Nov. 13 (UPI) — Chinese shoppers spent $320.9 million in little more than an hour as the online store Taobao.com began a one-day sales event, the company said.
By the end of the day, 10 million customers had besieged the Internet retailer, which was hosting a 50-percent off day, Xinhua reported Monday.
The online event was held to commemorate "Single’s Day," in China, Xinhua said.
Reportedly, Single’s Day was invented by a college student as an anecdote for Valentine’s Day. It is intended to honor those without romantic partners on Nov., 11, the date chosen because numerically, it is 11.11, which can be said to mean "for singles."
As the day progressed the sales figures escalated. Before 12 hours were up, $1.265 billion had been spent.
The store then reached its $1.6 billion sales target for the day within 14 hours of the 24-hour event.
"It’s been too hustle and bustle. The scale has exceeded the daily volume, which has brought great challenges to our system," said Wu Liying, a bank employee who worked through the night to make sure the banking system tied to the event did not collapse.
The system, however, did fail for 45 minutes very early in the morning in two branches — Sichuan Province and Beijing.
Jing Linbo, researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said the event "shows the potential of China," as a domestic market.
"China’s economy cannot only count on exports, which is still hard to predict, while investment is influenced by policies and macroeconomic environment," he said.
“Thus, domestic demand carries more expectation to stimulate China’s economy, Jing said.
Firm settles Madoff involvement for $210M
NEW YORK, Nov. 13 (UPI) — New York State said Ivy Asset Management agreed to pay $210 million to settle claims that kept its clients in the dark about Bernard Madoff being a fraud.
The firm continued to advise investors to invest in Madoff’s business while ignoring mounting suspicion Madoff — now serving a 150-year prison sentence — was not running a legitimate investment business.
One email sent by an Ivy principal to an employee said, "Oh, Madoff, you omitted one possibility — he’s a fraud!," the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
"Ivy Asset Management violated its fundamental responsibility as an investment adviser by putting its own pecuniary interests ahead of the interest of its clients," said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
"An investment adviser should apprise its clients of risks, but Ivy deliberately concealed negative facts it uncovered in its due diligence of Madoff in order to keep on earning millions of dollars in fees. As a result, its clients suffered massive and avoidable losses," Schneiderman said.