Apple's Profit Report Leaves Sour Taste

Morning Business Report:

It's a rare day on Wall Street when Apple (AAPL) fails to impress. Yes, the world's most highly valued company did report a 24 percent jump in quarterly profit compared with the year before. But that was less than expected. Sales of iPhones were a bright spot for Apple-a 58 percent rise from the year before-and 14 million iPads were sold, less than analysts were forecasting. The company enters the holiday shopping season with a full slate of new gadgets, but they could bring down profits. Apple executives say the new products are expensive to make, and they don't want to cut corners for the sake of short-term returns.

Amazon shares (AMZN) also took a beating after the number one online retailer reported a loss of $274 million for the July-September quarter. The loss, the first for Amazon on more than 9 years, was caused by rising costs and disappointing results from LivingSocial, Amazon's online deals site. Amazon is making an aggressive push into new markets and spending heavily on development of Kindle tablets and new warehouses. Amazon sales rose by 27%, but the increase in expenses outpaced that increase.

Many big corporations have announced weak 3rd quarter profits, which could have an impact on layoffs. The jobs firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says layoff announcements rose nearly 5 percent last month compared to August. But they are still 71 percent lower than a year ago. Bloomberg News also reports an increase in job cuts since the beginning of September. The National Association of Manufacturers, predicts that the economic damage would deepen considerably if Congress fails act. CEOs from more than 80 big companies are calling on Congress to reduce the deficit by cutting spending and raising taxes. The say concerns about the deficit are cutting hiring and stifling the economic recovery.

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is under new pressure to ask for another bailout. Spanish unemployment climbed to more than 25 percent - a new record high, and the economy is suffering from a deepening recession. Madrid's National Statistics Institute says in the past year 800,000 Spaniards have lost their jobs.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio

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