American business shows just how much confidence they have in Obama
So, what does the American business community think of Obama's re-election?
Collectively, not very much at all:
The Dow industrials lost more than 300 points in a sell-off on Wednesday that drove all major stock indexes down over 2 percent in the wake of the presidential election as investors' focus shifted to the looming "fiscal cliff" debate and Europe's economic troubles.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index posted its biggest daily percentage drop since June, with all 10 S&P sectors solidly lower and about 80 percent of stocks on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq ending in negative territory. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 closed at their lowest levels since early August.
Financial stocks and energy shares, two sectors that could face increased regulation after President Barack Obama's re-election, were the weakest on the day. The S&P financial index (.GSPF) lost 3.5 percent, while the S&P energy index (REU:^GSPEI) fell 3.1 percent. An S&P index of technology shares (.GSPT) slid 2.8 percent as the stock of Apple Inc (AAPL) entered bear market territory.
Obama's victory had been anticipated, though many polls indicated a close race between the president and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, going into election day.
The election was considered a major source of uncertainty for the market, but now the focus turns to the fiscal cliff, with investors worrying that if no deal is reached over some $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases due to kick in early next year, it could derail the economic recovery.
And then, there are individual corporations who are making their own statement. Boeing, for instance:
Boeing announced a major restructuring of its defense division on Wednesday that will cut 30 percent of management jobs from 2010 levels, close facilities in California and consolidate several business units to cut costs.
The company [BA 70.11 -1.47 (-2.05%) ] told employees about the changes on Wednesday, in a memo obtained by Reuters and confirmed by Boeing.
Boeing, the Pentagon's second-largest supplier, said the changes were the latest step in an affordability drive that has already reduced the company's costs by $2.2 billion since 2010, according to the memo.
The measures come as U.S. weapons makers are under pressure to cut costs and preserve profit margins amid dwindling defense spending in the U.S.
In a message to employees, Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the company aimed to cut costs by an additional $1.6 billion from 2013 through 2015.
"We are raising the bar higher because our market challenges and opportunities require it, and our customers' needs demand it," Muilenburg said.
Clearly, this move had been in the works for a while and might not be directly related to the president's victory (although the smart money has been on the president for weeks). But it is equally clear that "shrinking" defense budgets are playing a role in this massive layoff by Boeing. And the finger can only be pointed at the president for that.