Daily Data Flow: U.S. Stocks Rise; Economy Slow; Netflix Adopts Poison Pill

Daily Data Flow

U.S. Stocks Rise Before American Presidential Elections (Bloomberg)
U.S. stocks advanced, rebounding from an earlier decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as Americans prepared to vote in the presidential election. The S&P 500 added 0.2% to 1,417.26. It fell 0.4% earlier today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 19.28 points, or 0.2%, to 13,112.44. Volume for exchange-listed stocks in the U.S. was 5.1 billion shares, or 13% below the three-month average. “People are more like holding their breath and turning blue,” said Madelynn Matlock, who helps oversee about $14.7 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati. She spoke in a phone interview. “There’s the election in the U.S. That keeps investors on the sidelines.”

Economy Faces Slow Growth No Matter Who Wins Election (CNBC)
Whoever wins the presidential election might feel more like the loser when he realizes what lies ahead for the U.S. economy. Slowing earnings combined with CEO warnings of trouble ahead and continuing political instability are persuading more economists that the new year will ring in more of the same slow growth for at least the first half. “A combination of budget tightening and the weak external environment should prevent the U.S. recovery from shifting up a gear next year,” Andrew Kenningham at Capital Economics said in an analysis. “As a result, unemployment should fall only gradually.”

Netflix Seeks to Fend Off Ichan with Poison Pill (Reuters)
Netflix Inc. adopted a poison pill defense to prevent a hostile takeover, acting just days after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed he had bought a stake in the streaming video and DVD-by-mail subscription service. The video rental company said the poison pill defense is “intended to protect Netflix and its stockholders from efforts to obtain control of Netflix that the Board of Directors determines are not in the best interests of Netflix and its stockholders.” Netflix was a Wall Street darling with red-hot growth that boosted shares as high as $304 in July 2011. Many investors soured on the company after it imposed an unpopular price rise in the face of new competition, and increased spending on content and an international expansion.

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