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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) continued its losing ways today, down 0.25%. That's not a huge drop, but the decline in the tech-heavy Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC ) was more meaningful at 0.66%.
The day's news was dominated by more trading glitches. They weren't quite as dramatic as the "flash crash" of 2010, when trading errors pushed shares of Accenture all the way down to a penny, but the day opened with odd trading activity in 148 companies.
On to the losers
Today's wild trading action led to big morning moves, but by midday, most of the affected stocks had moved back to their closing price the previous day.
In the Dow, the biggest drop came courtesy of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) . HP didn't have any news specific to the company; however, there were some ominous events surrounding some competitors. Lenovo, the top Chinese PC seller, struck up a partnership with storage titan EMC to develop server technology and networked storage. That could be a blow to HP in the Chinese market, which is increasingly becoming a vital growth opportunity. The company lost huge amounts of market share in China after poorly responding to quality issues. Now it looks like some of its higher-end IT offerings are further threatened by Lenovo's data-center encroachment.
Two other companies seeing big drops today had interesting after-hours reversals. Yelp (Nasdaq: YELP ) saw a 5.7% drop today, only to reverse those gains after issuing earnings that beat expectations. Yelp is up more than 14% in after-hours trading. The problem? The company closed today at a price that puts it down 22% since July 20, so even if its after-hours gains hold up tomorrow, the stock is still down from prices seen just weeks ago.
Likewise, First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR ) fell 4.8% today. The embattled solar company has shed a whopping 87% of its value in the past year among brutal price competition in the industry. However, First Solar released earnings tonight that not only stomped on analyst expectations (earnings per share were $1.27 versus analyst estimates of $0.92), but also offered upgraded guidance. As a result, shares soared by as much as 20% after hours.
Gone today, here tomorrow
There you have it. On a wild day filled with trading errors, the biggest action is coming after hours. If you're a First Solar investor and are wondering whether the company has what it takes after today's big earnings beat, make sure to check out our brand-new premium research report on the company. The report not only comes with continuing updates as news strikes, but it will also give you all the risks and opportunities facing the company. Get started today!