These Tech Stocks Helped and Hurt the Dow Today

Worldwide Invest Better Day 9/25/2012

The Dow Jones Industrial Index (INDEX: ^DJI  ) is trading sideways today. Digging below the very flat index daily chart, you'll find tech stocks boosting and slowing the Dow in some strange ways.

On the upside, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) is up 1.7% on new cost-cutting efforts. The former blue chip works in panic mode now, and every little bit of newfound efficiency helps.

IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) also jumped today, rising 1% on moderate volume and little concrete news -- Big Blue won a small-time business analytics contract and gave an impressive presentation at a European convention for the media industry, but these are hardly market-moving achievements.

Even so, IBM's market moves have a profound effect on the Dow.

Thanks to the price-weighted nature of this index, IBM's $201 share price gives it more than 11 times the Dow heft of HP (at less than seven times HP's market cap), and it's the one stock most responsible for keeping the index afloat today.

On the flip side, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) fell 3.3%. The company is preparing for this week's Intel Developer Forum, which typically gives management a chance to strut their stuff on a global stage -- and that's catalyst fodder for the stock. But the stock took a beating last Friday on a gloomy guidance update, and CEO Paul Otellini doesn't seem overly optimistic ahead of this crucial conference.

Instead, he's busy fending off claims that ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH  ) might be the next processor king as the world embraces tablets and smartphones with open arms. "I don't think there is a tablet- or phone-centric world," he told PC World over the weekend, but investors aren't buying that worldview.

Is Otellini burying his head in the sand, or will Intel remain relevant with or without smartphone success? To help you figure this out, we've created a brand-new report on Intel that explores the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of the company. Get your copy of this premium report right now to get informed and stay informed on this important Dow stock.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in International Business Machines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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