The Past Week Stock Market Results November 05, 2012

The Stock Market: Sandy Causes Havoc!

The Past Week:A Solid Jobs Report!

by Ian Harvey


November 03, 2012


Stocks finished down 1 percent Friday, wiping out the previous session's gains, despite a better-than-expected government jobs report and amid nervousness ahead of next week's presidential election.

The Dow and Nasdaq finished in the red for the week, while the S&P 500 squeezed out a small gain.

The Markets Ending November 02, 2012

For the week, the Dow erased 0.11 percent, the S&P 500 eked out a gain of 0.16 percent, and the Nasdaq dipped 0.19 percent. Pfizer (PFE) was the worst weekly performer on the Dow, while BofA surged.

Among key S&P sectors, energy was the biggest laggard for the week, while consumer discretionary gained.

The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX – 17.06) ), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the stock market, sprung back to life in Friday's trading, gaining more than 5.4% on the day but settling close to 1.2% lower for the abbreviated week.




Summary of the Past Week

Monday, October 29

U.S. stock and bond markets will be closed again Tuesday because of the worry of the havoc Hurricane Sandy will cause around the New York metro area.

The move was expected because markets were closed today before Sandy even made landfall over New Jersey. Markets probably will reopen Wednesday as the storm moves inland. The eye of the storm is supposed to move into central Pennsylvania and then through New York state and New England and then into Ontario and Quebec.

Wednesday will not only be Halloween but the end of the month. Moreover, this week is one of the heaviest for earnings, and it ends with the October unemployment report, which could have a big impact on the election.

As of Friday, the Dow Jones industrials (DJI) were down 2.5% for the month, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) down 2% and the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) down 4.1%.

The storm was expected to generate winds of 85 MPH or more, heavy rain and flooding. The markets haven't reduced hours for weather reasons since Jan. 8, 1996, when a blizzard dumped more than 20 inches of snow on the New York metropolitan area. Markets haven't had a multi-day shutdown that didn't include a holiday since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

What isn't known is how much damage will be done by the storm. Flooding and power outages are expected along with wind damage to homes and businesses. Corelogic, a real estate research firm, says some $87 billion in properties are exposed to the storm, including some of the most valuable residential real estate in the country.

The storm is likely to cause insured losses of $5 billion to $10 billion and economic losses of $10 billion to $20 billion, disaster modeling company Eqecat said today.

How much it affects the economy is complicated by a number of factors, including:

• How long it takes the storm to pass: Longer is bad.

• How fast recovery and reconstruction efforts begin. The faster the better. Look for strong sales for hardware stores, auto dealerships, paint dealers and furniture dealers over the next few months as claims are settled.

• How fast power is restored. Not just to homes but especially to the oil refineries in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Long shut downs in refineries can create short-term shortages and boost fuel prices not just regionally but nationally as well.

• How fast the local infrastructure is put back into shape, including water, sewers and streets and highways. Of special interest in the Northeast are suburban rail networks. Heavy rains can weaken rail beds and slow speeds at which trains can run.

The potential for serious damage was recognized by the stock market last week. Chubb (CB), which insures a lot of property, fell 3.3% from Monday through Friday, ahead of the storm. The KBW Insurance Index (KIX) fell 1.56% over the same time.

Futures trading had suggested a weak open for U.S. stocks today, if the markets had operated normally. A weak open would have reflected worries from Europe that property-insurance companies may face big damage claims from the storm. In addition, worries about economic conditions weakened markets in France, Spain and Italy.

Meanwhile, gold and crude oil prices fell ahead of market closures. The national average price of gasoline was $3.575 a gallon, down from $3.579 on Sunday and $3.814 a gallon on Oct. 5, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report.

The market closures raise the potential for volatile swings once trading resumes.

Tuesday, October 30

Trading in U.S. stocks will resume Wednesday with the major exchanges planning regular trading hours.

The open will feature market reaction to a blockbuster media deal. Walt Disney (DIS) said late today it will buy Lucasfilm in a $4.05 billion deal. The company will pay half of the purchase price in cash and issue close to 40 million shares at the closing for the balance. Lucasfilm is the production company of Star Wars director George Lucas.

The New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq system were closed Monday and again today as Hurricane Sandy slammed into New York and New Jersey, causing power outages, flooding and even fires. Some 38 deaths are attributed to the storm. The New York subway system experience widespread flooding in its tunnels.

Gold and crude oil traded in U.S. markets moved modestly higher. The national average retail price of gasoline fell to $3.534 today, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report from $3.543 a gallon on Monday. The price has fallen 6.7% this month.

The market will reopen after struggling last week. The Dow Jones industrials (DJI) fell 1.8%. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) was off 1.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) slipped 0.6%.

When testing of generators and backup systems late Monday and today were successful, the exchanges announced the reopening plans. Prices for stocks index futures trading moved higher in electronic trading today after falling on Monday. European markets were stronger.

Wednesday, October 31

After Hurricane Sandy forced a historic two-day closure, the U.S. stock market reopened today and ended the day modestly lower. As a result, stocks ended October with their first monthly losses since May.

Apple (AAPL) fell below $600 for the first time since July as its big management shakeup -- forcing out the heads of its iPhone operating system group and retail businesses -- weighed on tech stocks. Walt Disney's (DIS) $4 billion buyout of Lucasfilm, director George Lucas' production company, weighed on the Dow Jones industrials (DJI).

But Netflix (NFLX) shares jumped $9.66 to $79.24 after corporate raider Carl Icahn disclosed his Icahn Capital and related entities owned 9.99% of Netflix's shares. The company is undervalued, especially given its international potential, Icahn said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. But he hasn't proposed any major actions.

Meanwhile, the stocks you'd expect to be winners after all the destruction from Sandy were higher. These include Home Depot (HD), Lowe's (LOW), Masco (MAS) and Whirlpool (WHR). Property and casualty insurers, such as Allstate (ALL) and Chubb (CHB), were lower, as adjusters start the process of claims management in the aftermath of a storm that may have caused damages of $20 billion or more.

The Dow closed down 11 points to 13,096. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) was up slightly at 1,412. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) was off 11 points to 2,977, and the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX), dominated by Apple, was off 18 points to 2,648.

The major averages ended the day down roughly 4% from their September peaks.

After the close, shares of Visa (V) were up $1.74, or 1.3%, to $140.50. The credit-card processor reported an 89% profit gain to $1.66 billion, or $2.47 a share, from $880 million, or $1.27, a year earlier. Earnings adjusted for one-time charges, were $1.54, beating the $1.50 consensus estimate.

Allstate was down 17 cents to $39.98. Shares were unchanged after hours as the company reported decent earnings.

Cirrus Logic (CRUS) shares were up 10 cents after hours to $40.88. The chip maker, whose chips are used in Apple's iPads and iPhones, said sales jumped 91% in the fiscal second quarter to $193.8 million.

Earnings after one-time items hit 79 cents per share, up from 35 cents a year ago. The company sees third-quarter revenue rising to at least $270 million to $300 million in the third quarter. Wall Street has been looking for $238 million.

Light sweet Crude oil in New York settled up 56 cents to $86.24 a barrel. Brent crude, the dominant influence on retail gasoline prices, was down 38 cents to $108.70 a barrel. Light sweet crude fell 6.5% during the month; Brent was off 1%.

Oil refineries in the Northeast were struggling to get back online, and the Colonial pipeline, which ships crude oil to the Northeast from terminals on the Gulf Coast, was shut down.

Wholesale gasoline futures moved higher on the potential for shortages in the Northeast, but retail prices continued to drop, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

AAA's daily average for unleaded gasoline was $3.521 a gallon, down from Tuesday's $3.534. The price fell 7% for the month but is still up 7.5% for the year.

Gold rose $7 to $1,719.10 an ounce. Gold ended October down 3.1%.

Thursday, November 01

Markets are still recovering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which wreaked havoc up and down the Eastern Seaboard. The storm forced financial markets to close Monday and Tuesday, and nearly 5 million people are still without power.

Trading could still be volatile, Reuters noted, with many traders and money managers unable to reach their offices because of power and gasoline shortages and limited mass transit.

Stocks started November with their best performance in seven weeks, thanks to two decent jobs reports and an improved outlook on manufacturing.

If there was a downside to the rally, it was that the major averages pulled back from their early highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) jumped as many as 177 points, fueled by gains for IBM (IBM) and Caterpillar (CAT), but then profit-taking set in.

Private-sector employers added 158,000 jobs in October, the ADP National Employment Report estimated, better than expected, and the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 363,000 last week, down from 372,000 the prior week and smaller than the consensus estimate of 369,000. The Labor Department will release its October jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday. The unemployment rate is expected to rise slightly from 7.8% to 7.9%, with payroll employment rising by about 125,000 jobs.

After the close, shares of Starbucks (SBUX) jumped $3.35 to $49.97 from a regular close of $46.62. The coffee-shop giant's fiscal-fourth-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share beat the Street estimate of 45 cents. Revenue was up 11% to $3.36 billion and in line with estimates. Also moving higher because of strong earnings: (PCLN) and American International Group (AIG).

The Dow closed up 136 points to 13,233. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) gained 15 points to 1,428. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) jumped 43 points to 3,020, its first close above 3,000 for the index since Oct. 22.

The Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX), which tracks the largest Nasdaq stocks, jumped 40 points to 2,688. The index had been up as many as 43 points.

Apple (AAPL), the biggest influence on the Nasdaq-100, was up $1.22 to $596.54 after peaking at $603 at 11 a.m. ET. Apple's Wednesday close of $595.32 was its first below $600 since July 30.

The Dow and the S&P 500 had their best one-day gains since Sept. 13. The Nasdaq's performance was its best since Sept. 6. Materials, industrials and technology stocks were the market leaders.

Contributing factors to today's gains included a gain in Chinese manufacturing activity after two months of contraction. The official October manufacturing PMI came in at 50.2, slightly lower than the forecast of 50.3 -- but higher than the 50-point level, the government said. The HSBC Purchasing Managers Index was a 49.5, up from 47.9. At the very least, HSBC said, industrial activity in China has bottomed. The economy should recover slowly.

Also helping were gains in consumer confidence and auto sales.

The one group that didn't participate today: utility stocks. They fell as interest rates moved higher. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.715% from 1.686% on Wednesday.

The market gains came even as earnings from Exxon Mobil (XOM) fell from a year ago. Revenue was off 7.7% to $115.71 billion, still enough to be roughly the size of the gross domestic product of Vietnam. The decline was due to lower oil and natural gas prices Shares, however, were up 43 cents to $91.60.

Energy shares were largely higher as crude oil in New York settled up 85 cents to $87.09 a barrel. Brent crude, however, settled down 53 cents to $108.17 a barrel.

The average national retail price of gasoline was $3.507 a gallon, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. That's down from Wednesday's $3.521 a gallon. But because of power problems at gasoline terminals, there have been gasoline shortages around the New York area and in New Jersey.

Friday, November 02

Employers added 171,000 jobs in October, but the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 7.9%, the Labor Department announced today.

While the jobs report was basically good, stocks slumped this afternoon on weakness in Chevron (CVX), Apple (AAPL) and IBM (IBM) and a host of property-casualty companies that face big claims from Superstorm Sandy.

In addition, the dollar moved higher on the jobs report, as traders worried that the Federal Reserve might pull back on its low-interest rate policy. Energy and materials stocks were lower. Gold fell below $1,700 for the first time since early September.

The losses wiped out weekly gains for the Dow Jones industrials (DJI) and the Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP).

The Dow closed down 139 points to 13,093. The blue chips had been up as many as 57 points early in the session. Today's decline more than undid Thursday's 136-point gain. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) was off 13 points to 1,414. The Nasdaq dropped 38 points to 2,982.

The Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) was off 31 points to 2,656.

Apple was off $19.74 to $576.80. The new iPad Mini went on sale today. The selling in the shares accelerated after they fell below $588, their 200-day moving average. They're down 18% since peaking in mid-September at $702.10.

About 77 points of the Dow's loss was concentrated in four stocks: IBM, Chevron, Caterpillar (CAT) and Exxon Mobil (XOM). Only four of the 30 Dow stock were higher: Bank of America (BAC), Walt Disney (DIS), Merck (MRK) and McDonald's (MCD).

In addition, Verizon Communications (VZ) fell 62 cents to $44.52 after it said in a regulatory filing that it expects the costs of restoring service and making extensive repairs to its land and mobile networks after Superstorm Sandy will have a "significant" impact on fourth-quarter results.

For the week, the Dow was off 0.1%, its third loss in the last four weeks. The S&P 500 added 0.2%. The Nasdaq dropped 0.2%, its fourth straight weekly decline. For the year, the Dow is up 7.1%, with the S&P 500 up 9.6% and the Nasdaq up 14.5%.

Crude oil in New York settled down $2.23 to $84.86 a barrel, the lowest close since July 10. Wholesale gasoline futures were down 2.3% to $2.5736 a gallon. Brent crude was down.

The national average price of gasoline was at $3.496 a gallon, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, down from Thursday's $3.507. That's the lowest average price since July 30, when it was $3.486.

Gold tumbled to $1,675.20 an ounce in New York, down $40.30. It was the biggest one-day drop for the metal since June 21 and the lowest close since Aug. 30.




Company News and Earnings in the Past Week

Monday, October 29

Pfizer postponed its earnings release from Tuesday to Thursday. So did Martha Stewart Living Omnivision (MSO). Thomson Reuters (TRI) moved its report from Tuesday to Friday.

Burger King (BKW) and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB) reported as scheduled today. Burger King reported an 83% earnings decline due to restructuring and currency effects on results.

Red Robin reported 24 cents a share in earnings, up from 14 cents a year ago. But compared with earnings after one-time restructuring charges, earnings were flat. higher profit margins.

Tuesday, October 30

GM highlights Wednesday's reports; Ford has a decent quarter

General Motors (GM) reports third-quarter results on Wednesday. It should report decent sales for North America and sizable losses from its European businesses.

GM said today that its northeast U.S. vehicle sales will be hurt by the hurricane, although it did not provide a specific estimate.

Rival Ford Motor (F) reported decent results overall and especially for its North American business, which had its best third quarter even Its European business is struggling. The company announced it is shutting down plants in Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne assured workers in a company-wide letter that Jeep assembly lines will remain in the U.S. after ads from the Mitt Romney campaign airing in hotly contested Ohio focused on the automaker's supposed desire to move production to China. A Chrysler blog post highlights details on its expansion plan in the U.S.

Apple turmoil may lead to stock gyrations

Apple (AAPL 0.00%) may have a volatile day after reports that Scott Forstall, a key executive, was asked to leave the company after refusing apologizing for shortcomings in Apple's new mapping service.

The Wall Street Journal said the dispute between Forstall, who had been in charge of Apple's mobile business, led to one of the most significant management shake-ups in Apple's recent history and its most sweeping changes under CEO Tim Cook.

Apple announced Forstall's departure late Monday along with the departure of its new retail chief, John Browett. Sources told the Journal that Browett, who had joined the company only five months ago, was also asked to leave.

Brown's tenure was rocky from the start, The Journal said. A big issue was a new staffing formula that cut some employee hours. Apple may be up 49% for the year, but it's down 14% since peaking at $702.10 on Sept. 19.

Wednesday, October 31

Apple's turmoil pushes shares under $600

Apple was down $8.68 to $595.32 after dropping to as low as $587.70. The shares are down 15% since mid-September and haven't closed below $600 since July 30.

On Monday, CEO Tim Cook forced out Scott Forstall, who was in charge of Apple's mobile operating system iOS and who previously had a close relationship with the late Steve Jobs.

Forstall had refused to sign an apology to Apple customers over the launch of Apple maps in the latest version of iOS, The Wall Street Journal said. Also moved out was John Browett, who had headed Apple's retail business.

Separately, Facebook (FB) was off 83 cents to $21.11 as a 234-million-share lockup expiration originally scheduled for Monday gets under way. Another 777 million shares become available for sale on Nov. 14.

GM and Ford move higher

General Motors (GM) jumped $2.22 to $25.50. The auto giant reported a third-quarter profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates by more than 50% and said it wants to break even in Europe by mid-decade. Adjusted earnings were 93 cents a share, beating the 60-cent consensus estimate. North American and Latin American profits offsets losses in Europe.

Ford Motor (F) advanced 85 cents to $11.16. On Tuesday, the second-largest U.S. automaker reported third-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Ford's North America unit delivered record earnings that made up for higher taxes and losses in Europe. It was Ford's 14th consecutive profitable quarter.

IBM and Home Depot hold up the Dow

The Dow would have been 20 points lower if not for IBM (IBM), which announced it was adding $5 billion to its share buyback plan, and Home Depot. IBM was up $1.26 to $194.53. Home Depot added $1.34 to $61.38.

PVH (PVH) was up $18.49 to $109.99. The company agreed to buy Warnaco (WRC). Warnaco jumped $19.70 to $70.78.

PVH was once Phillips Van Heusen and owns a variety of brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Izod, Bass and Arrow. Warnaco makes swimwear, sportswear and lingerie.

Thursday, November 01

JDA Software Group (JDAS), a maker of supply-chain management software, soared $6.61 to $44.76 after it agreed to be bought by privately held rival RedPrairie Corp. for about $45 a share, or $1.9 billion, in cash.

Pfizer (PFE), which delayed the release of its quarterly results because of the storm, posted revenue that fell far short of expectations, sending shares down 32 cents to $24.55.

Teen-apparel retailer Zumiez (ZUMZ) shares fell $4.19 to $21.13 after the teen retailer cut fourth-quarter guidance on weaker-than-expected October same-store sales. The company blamed a challenging sales environment in Europe. October same-store sales rose 0.6%. Street analyst forecasts were for a same-store sales increase of 4.6%. Zumiez now expects to earn between 38 and 39 cents per share, down from its prior view of 42 and 45 cents.

Macy's (M) climbed $2.45 to $40.52. The second-biggest U.S. department-store chain boosted its forecast for same-store sales in the second half of the year to a 4% gain compared with the year-ago period. The company had previously estimated an increase of 3.7%.

Ross Stores (ROST) dropped $3.82 to $57.13, second-worst among the S&P 500 stocks after Teredata (TDC). The operator of apparel and home-accessories stores said sales rose 4%, missing the average projection for a 4.3 % gain from analysts surveyed by researcher Retail Metrics.

Target (TGT) fell 81 cents to $62.94. The second-biggest U.S. discount retailer posted a 2.4% increase in same-store sales, missing the 2.9 % estimate.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) climbed $2.65 to $33.23. The teen-clothing retailer didn’t update its sales figures. The absence of pre-announcement "may mean more limited downside risk, and could provide relief" to the stock, UBS analyst Roxanne Meyer wrote in wrote in a note to clients.

Friday, November 02

Restoration Hardware has a strong IPO

Despite the slump, home-furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware (RH) went public at $24 late Thursday and closed at $31.10, up $7.10. It reached as high as $33.15. And Starbucks (SBUX) shares jumped $4.22 to $50.84 after reporting strong earnings late Thursday and boosting its dividend to 21 cents a share, up from 17 cents.

Why Chevron missed

The oil giant missed Street estimates on earnings and revenues, blaming lower crude prices and a heavy period of planned oilfield maintenance. Shares were down $3.09 to $108.37.

Worldwide daily production was 2.52 million barrels of oil equivalent, down from 2. 6 million a day a year ago. Plus, the average sales price of crude oil and natural gas liquids was $91 vs. $97 a year ago.

Downstream operations earned $456 million, down from $704 million a year ago.

Starbucks' strong report Starbucks shares jumped because global comparable-store sales rose 6%, with a 5% increase in traffic and a 1% increase in average ticket contributing.

The company saw 10% growth in its China/Asia Pacific business. Europe lagged. The company grew its operating margin by 210 basis points (one basis is one one-hundredth of a percentage point) to 21.4% from 21.19%.

The company's strong performance helped shares of Whole Foods (WFM) move up $2.69 to $97.15. Rivals Dunkin Brands (DNKN) and Caribou Coffee (CBOU) were also higher. Panera Bread (PNRA) fell slightly.




Economic News in the Past Week

Personal income was up in September; spending was up more, the government said Monday.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed prices in 20 major markets rose 2% in August from August 2011, the biggest year-to-year gain in more than two years. The report suggested the housing recovery is advancing solidly.

Sandy hits auto sales

Sandy's fury caused U.S. auto sales to fall short of expectations in October, but industry executives still see a strong fourth quarter as the housing market improves. Sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.29 million units, up 7.1% from a year ago but down 4.35% from September, according to market researcher Autodata.

While General Motors (GM) and Chrysler Group reported their strongest sales for October since the 2007-09 financial crisis, the massive storm that hit the U.S. East Coast took as much as 30,000 vehicle sales out of the mix.

The storm turned what was expected to be a big month for auto sales into a mere healthy month, analyst Jesse Toprak told Reuters.

Ford Motor's (F) October sales edged up 0.4%. Sales for Toyota Motor (TM) and Honda Motor (HMC) rose about 16% and 9%, respectively. Nissan (NSANY) sales fell 3.2%.

GM was up 18 cents to $25.68. Ford added 9 cents to $11.25. Toyota added 58 cents to $78.05 in New York. Honda was up 19 cents to $30.35. Nissan rose 18 cents to $16.90 in New York.

Manufacturing expands in October

Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded in October at a faster pace than projected as orders and production picked up, showing the industry is stabilizing.

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index climbed to 51.7 last month, the highest since May, from 51.5 in September. Economists estimated 51 for October. A reading of 50 is the dividing line between growth and contraction.

The report shows American factories are holding up amid a global economic slowdown that’s weakened manufacturing from Asia to Europe. At the same time, companies such as Cummins (CMI) are feeling the effects of the so-called fiscal cliff that’s prompted cutbacks in equipment purchases.

A solid jobs report

In addition to the 171,000 overall gains in jobs, the Labor Department revised estimates for overall job gains in August and September higher by 84,000.

The payroll gains came from the private sector, which added 184,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. That was the biggest gain since February. Government employment fell by 13,000.

The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% from September's 7.8% because more people were looking for work.

Private service providing jobs were up 163,000, with retail trade adding 36,400 jobs.

Temporary-help services, often a harbinger of future full-time hiring, added 13,600 jobs, more than reversing the previous month's decline.

The construction sector saw an increase of 17,000 jobs, the largest rise since January. But residential construction fell back by 2,000 jobs to 560,000. That reflects the struggles of the housing industry.

Despite the current uptick in job creation, the U.S. economy faces a real threat of a renewed recession next year.

Without action by lawmakers, existing legislation will raise taxes and cut spending to the tune of about $600 billion in 2013. That scenario -- known in Washington as the fiscal cliff -- could easily cause the economy to contract.

For some perspective on the current state of the labor market, today's chart illustrates the unemployment rate since 1948. As today's chart illustrates, the unemployment rate has been (despite this month's uptick) trending lower since peaking at 10% back in October 2009. While the overall downtrend of the unemployment rate is positive, it is worth noting that the current unemployment rate remains at a level that has rarely been surpassed during the post-World War II era.

Chart of the Unemployment Rate

Other Articles Relating to the Week Ahead

1. The Economy and Earnings in the Week Ahead – November 05, 2012

2. The Week Ahead in the Stock Market – November 05, 2012

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