Market Minute: 'Gravity' Crushes Box Office; Ford CEO to Microsoft?

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The wrangling in Washington starts to weigh on Wall Street, with stocks set to slide this morning. These stories and more are in Monday's Market Minute.

The Dow Industrials (^DJI) lost more than one percent last week, while S&P 500 (^GPSC) was little changed, and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose seven-tenths of a percent. It was the fifth straight weekly gain for the Nasdaq.

Boeing (BA) could face some new headwinds. The airplane maker has lost its exclusive deal with Japan Airlines, which agreed to buy more than 9-billion dollars worth of planes built by European-based Airbus.

About 3,000 Lockheed Martin (LMT) workers could face furloughs this week if the budget stalemate is not resolved. The company said it will have to delay some test flights and production on the F-35 fighter jet, but that was before the Pentagon recalled its workforce. United Technologies (UTX) cancelled its planned furloughs after the Pentagon decision.

Bloomberg reports that Ford's (F) board of directors is expected to discuss a contingency plan if CEO Alan Mulally decides to leave. He's reportedly one of the top candidates to replace Steve Ballmer at the helm of Microsoft (MSFT).
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AP Photo/Carlos OsorioFord CEO Alan Mulally


An activist investor group has acquired a 13 percent stake in Outerwall (OUTR), which until recently was known as Coinstar. The group says it plans to push the owner of the Redbox video rental kiosks to make some strategic changes, and possibly seek a buyer.

J.P. Morgan (JPM) has lowered its quarterly earnings forecast for Alcoa. The aluminum giant reports after tomorrow's closing bell. But earnings season could take a back seat to the stalemate in Washington.

A Jefferies analyst has significantly boosted his target price on Apple (AAPL) to 600 a share. After meeting with Apple supplies in Asia, he's convinced the company's net margins are set to rise.

And Time Warner's new sci-fi movie "Gravity" won the box-office battle this weekend. It took in more than 55-million dollars, a record for October, which is not usually a big period for movie-goers.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

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