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Market Preview: Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

Jefferies was also bullish about Apple's upcoming earnings report, saying its research suggest the company is producing and selling roughly 500,000 iPhone 5s per day.

"Our supply checks support that CQ3 was slightly better than expected but was held back by iPhone 5 supplies that were retained for international market launches," the firm said. "We believe Apple will unveil iPad mini on 10/23 along with a 13" Retina Macbook. We believe there is a chance a new iTunes is unveiled with streaming music and Facebook integration. Our iPad mini preliminary BOM [bill of materials] analysis points to a ~30% GM [gross margin], helped by the smaller screen size and a new mfr [manufacturing] method for the PCB substrates."

Wednesday's economic calendar is light with just the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly application activity index at 7 a.m. ET; housing starts and building permits for September at 8:30 a.m. ET; and weekly crude inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Aside from the data, there will be the fallout from the second presidential debate for investors to consider. President Barack Obama and the Republican challenger Mitt Romney will square off at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY at 9 p.m. ET with a town hall-style format that's expected to focus more on social issues than the economy. The Street's Joe Deaux will be live-blogging the proceedings.

And finally, aside from Intel and IBM, Apollo Group (APOL) was a big loser in late trades after the for-profit education company fell short of revenue views for its latest quarter and announced a massive restructuring.

A declining trend for enrollment is the culprit for Apollo Group, which operates the University of Phoenix, and the company is planning to lay off as many as 800 employees and close 115 locations as part of its reorganization.

The stock was last quoted at $25.05, down 9%, on extended volume of more than 220,000, according to

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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