Stocks were pummeled this session, and few remained unbruised as our session ended Nov. 30, 2007. High oil prices combined with the continuously disintegrating credit sector and fears about how that crisis will play out in coming months. Oil began to fall as our trading session came to a close, prompting hints of another possible rate cut when the Fed meets again after our deadline. Although the hope was real, many on Wall Street discounted the positive news. “Everything we’re seeing in the market is revolving about credit and encouragement that the Fed is going to bail us out again,” said Alexander Paris, economist and market analyst for Barrington Research in Chicago. “Investors are kind of ignoring the economic news like housing and durable orders that were all weaker than expected.”

The PCI Manufacturers’ Index also faltered, shedding 74.21 points, or 5.23 percent, and closing at 1345.76. Only BASF remained positive: declining issues easily outpaced advancing issues by an 8-to-1 count.
BASF managed to hold on to its positive momentum after reporting its third quarter results in mid-session. BASF reported an almost doubling of its earnings, reporting net income of €1.21 billion, or €2.5 per share, compared to net income of €613 million, or €1.22 per share, in the same quarter last year. Sales were up to €13.96 billion, from €13.3 billion. Looking ahead, BASF said, “scheduled plant turnarounds, in particular in petrochemicals, are set to reduce earnings,” in the fourth quarter. BASF added 1.55 points, or 1.13 percent, and closed at 139.20. BASF was the top dollar and percentage gainer.
Although profit for PPG almost doubled for its third quarter, the company’s shares fell 6.91 points, or 9.15 percent, and ended at 68.64. Revenue was up 13 percent for the quarter, to $2.82 billion, but analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting PPG to earn $1.37 per share with earnings of $2.99 billion. PPG said it is acquiring privately held Dutch-based SigmaKalon in a deal worth an estimated $3.1 billion. The deal will expand the company’s footprint in Europe and Asia, and is subject to the customary regulatory hurdles. PPG was the top dollar loser this session.

Shares of RPM also faltered, shedding 4.90 points, or 20.46 percent, after its recent quarter fell below analysts’ expectations. Fiscal first-quarter net income for RPM was up 11.3 percent, to $68.3 million, or $0.53 per share. This compares to net income of $61.3 million, or $0.49 per share in the comparable year-ago quarter. However, analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected RPM to earn $0.55 per share. RPM held fast on its current fiscal year forecast, which sees sales and net income increases of 8 percent. RPM closed at 19.05, and was the top percentage loser.