The 3 Worst Stocks in the Dow Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) was essentially flat today, but some companies fared worse than others. These were the three biggest losers:

Company

Price Change

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) (3.2%)
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) (2.3%)
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) (2.2%)

Shares of the three tech giants were down sharply after Dell reported weak-sauce earnings that failed to match its own guidance. The poorest performance came from consumer notebooks as Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPads and iPhones continue to steal market share. It also offered weak guidance, and shares fell some 20%. Weak consumer computer sales are obviously bad news for hardware makers HP and Intel, as well as Microsoft.

Each of the three is trying to address the changing landscape in its own way. HP announced today that sales fell 3% and earnings fell 30%. It also said that it'll go ahead with its plan to lay off 8% of its workforce, mainly through early retirement, to save $3 billion to $3.5 billion annually. Shares eventually soared 9% after hours.

Intel continues to branch out into the market for tablet chips, while Microsoft today released So.cl, its social network, to limited fanfare. Rumor has it the software giant plans to release a version of Microsoft Office for mobile devices.

Intel and Microsoft lost to the market today, but I'm not particularly worried about their long-term prospects given reasonable growth prospects and valuations.

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Ilan Moscovitz owns shares of Apple. You can follow him on Twitter, where he goes by @TMFDada. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Microsoft and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dell, Intel, Apple, and Microsoft and creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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