Dow Holds Steady Despite Poor 4th-Quarter GDP

The poor GDP figure released today is keeping the markets muted today. The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that GDP contracted by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012. The biggest areas of decline were in government defense spending, which likely owed to the fiscal cliff, and investors are probably not too concerned that these cuts will continue for the long term.

As of 12:50 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is at breakeven. The index's 30 components are split between winners and losers today, but none has moved more than 1%. The S&P 500 is down a single point, while the NASDAQ is just as flat as the Dow. Now let's take a look at a few of the Dow's losers today.

So who's down and why?
Shares of Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) are down 0.5% today after the company announced it would be purchasing a Czech security software company called Cognitive Security. It is unknown at this time what the price tag is, but Cisco plans to combine Cognitive's technology with its own cloud-based systems.

Shares of General Electric and United Technologies are down as well. Both companies play a part in the defense industry as suppliers, and while the government spent less on defense in the last quarter of the year, many believe that this was a temporary cut and that spending will revert to normal levels during the current quarter. Investors should not overreact and sell shares based on this sole report.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) are down 0.2% today after Lenovo, its competitor and the world's second-biggest personal-computer manufacturer, announced great quarterly results. The company reported a 34% rise in quarterly profit and an increase in market share. With Lenovo claiming a bigger stake in an ever-shrinking PC market, Hewlett-Packard may have a more difficult road ahead than many investors believe.

The massive wave of mobile computing has done much to unseat the major players in the PC market, including venerable technology names like Hewlett-Packard. However, HP is rapidly shifting its strategy under the new leadership of CEO Meg Whitman. But does this make HP one of the least appreciated turnaround stories on the market, or is this a minor detour on its road to irrelevance? The Motley Fool's technology analyst details exactly what investors need to know about HP in our new premium research report. Just click here now to get your copy today.


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