U.S. stocks are modestly lower this morning as export prices dropped 0.3 percent in October, following a 0.6 percent fall in September. Import prices fell 0.5 percent in October while September was revised to a 0.6 percent decline.
The October drop in import prices was more than analysts had anticipated. Import prices have fallen 14 of the last 16 months. The dollar rose to a seven-month high. Once again oil prices dropped 2.1 percent in October after slipping 6 percent in September.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 25 points to 17,705, the S&P 500 is down one point to 2,076 and the Nasdaq slid 23 points to 5,071. Asian markets mostly ended on a lower note with only Japan up and that was because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering lowering the corporate tax rate. European markets also traded lower, with only Germany edging up with help from Adidas.
The Gap Inc.’s stock is falling over 5 percent to $26.20 after reporting its third-quarter earnings following Monday’s market close. Sales dropped 15 percent at Banana Republic and fell 4 percent at the flagship Gap brand. Only Old Navy turned in a good performance, with sales growing 2 percent. Total sales for the chain fell to $1.2 billion in October from $1.26 billion last year.
Apple stock is sliding almost 3 percent to $117.20 this morning after Credit Suisse issued a report that suggested the tech giant cut component orders by 10 percent. The analyst expects Apple to build fewer than 80 million iPhone 6 units in the December quarter. Estimates for iPhone units were lowered from 242 million to 222 million due to a subdued iPhone 6 launch.
Amazon’s Echo is trying to position itself as the must-have gift this holiday. The voice-activated smart device will be available in good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores this season. While the company said the product has been well-received, it is still putting them in stores so people can try the product. The Echo will be in Home Depot, Staples, Sears and Brookstone, to name a few. Amazon’s stock is down $5.31 to trade near $650.18.
Playboy Enterprises launched a new retail Web site called PlayboyShop.com. The site will feature newly designed apparel, barware and accessories. The apparel mostly consists of T-shirts, hoodies, hats and some sweaters. The men’s magazine has been undergoing a transformation which started with a safe-for-work Web site and a men’s brand app for mobile phones. The new, revamped magazine that won’t include naked women will make its debut in March.