Why the Dow's Inching Down Before the Holiday

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Even though investors continue to desperately await action from Washington on the fiscal cliff, few had expected any substantial progress over the long holiday weekend. With many businesses closed today and the stock market closing up shop early this afternoon, activity has been relatively muted, and there was little news to move markets. At around 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) were down 32 points, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both posted similar drops of about 0.25%.

Two tech companies led the Dow's decliners. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) dropped nearly 2% as investors continue to question whether the tech giant will be able to get itself moving forward again in 2013. HP's woes owe partly to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , the other big Dow decliner today, which fell 1.5% as Windows 8 sales continue to disappoint investors in the software behemoth. With the failure of Windows 8 to reinvigorate sales of PCs, HP really needs to quickly move beyond its old core business and into more lucrative high-end services, and Microsoft needs to push forward with cloud-computing projects and tap into mobile trends in order to give itself a boost.

Outside the Dow, Radian Group (NYSE: RDN  ) soared 4%. The mortgage insurer reported last week that it got a one-year extension of approval from Freddie Mac for its Radian Mortgage Assurance subsidiary. The move allows the company to do business in a number of states and is an essential part of Radian's core business strategy as it continues to dig itself out from the wreckage of the housing bust.

Finally, Herbalife (NYSE: HLF  ) continued its downward spiral, falling another 6%. The company has been under attack from short-seller Bill Ackman, who has characterized the business as a pyramid scheme and has taken a massive short position. The company has denied Ackman's characterizations and plans to fight back, but so far, investors seem to agree with Ackman's position, with the shares having lost more than 40% of their value in just the past week and a half.

Will Microsoft destroy the PC business?
The entire PC industry was counting on Windows 8, so its slow start has been a big disappointment. Can Microsoft bounce back, or does it make sense to sell Microsoft before something worse happens? In our latest premium report on the software company, our tech analyst looks its opportunities and challenges. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2168097, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 10:22:14 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,173.76 4.08 0.02%
S&P 500 2,131.46 -1.58 -0.07%
NASD 5,210.57 -5.41 -0.10%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/28/2016 10:06 AM
HLF $60.08 Up +0.14 +0.23%
Herbalife CAPS Rating: *
HPQ $14.09 Up +0.10 +0.68%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
MSFT $60.17 Up +0.07 +0.12%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****
RDN $13.92 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Radian Group CAPS Rating: ***