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Dow Couldn’t Hold Onto its Big Gains

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Investors were hit with positive job numbers and upwardly revised GDP numbers today, which took the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) as high as 14,149.15 during today's regular trading hours. The Dow peaked a little after 2 p.m. EST, when the index was higher by more than 73 points. But it was all downhill from that point, and the blue chip index actually closed the day down 20 points, or 0.15%. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also followed suit and closed the day lower by 0.09% and 0.07%, respectively. 

A few Dow winners
But not all of the Dow's 30 components followed the indexes lower. Shares of Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) closed higher by 0.65%. Since announcing earnings on Tuesday, shares of the home improvement store are up nearly 4.5%. The company beat analysts' expectations on both the top and bottom line, and also announced a 35% increase to its dividend, and a $17 billion share buyback program. Home Depot's stock is now trading for 22 times current earnings, and 17 times future earnings. That valuation is on the expensive side considering the headwinds that the U.S. economy still has to face. But if the U.S. housing market continues to strengthen, Home Depot's stock price should move higher.

Shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) also rose higher today, gaining 0.7%. The company sold $2.5 billion in its first bond offering in almost a year. The sale was made to fund the repurchase of future bond notes due in August of this year, as well as some maturing in 2014, and others in 2015. The notes were given ratings of Aa3 by Moody's, AA- by Standard & Poor's, and Fitch slapped an A+ rating on the bonds. The positive ratings from all three agencies is a sign to investors that Coke remains strong and should  have the ability to pay its debt while maintaining its current 2.9% dividend yield.  

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) once again made the winner's list today after its shares rose by 1.87%, and once again it was the Dow's best performing stock of the day. Earlier in the week, Meg Whitman, HP's CEO, said that the once-dominant PC manufacturer will be focusing more of its attention on the mobile computing industry. That came in conjunction with the announcement that HP was selling its wedbOS operating system. Then, just yesterday, it was announced that HP would be developing tablets which run on the Android operating system.

This is all good news to investors, because Whitman understands that the PC business, in general, is slowing, and the focus on mobile will help with growth. Additionally, the move to use an existing proven operating system means Whitman doesn't want to bite off more than she can chew in this new field. 

More foolish insight on HP

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's 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 blip 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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  • Report this Comment On March 01, 2013, at 7:02 AM, davidarnold1947 wrote:

    At least one or two people have predicted this rise in the stockmarket. They also stated that the rise would be artificle and would not last. On the contrary, they believe that we are at the gates of very hard economical times. If as a novice, you have studied the rise and fall of the stock market as I have. You might even come to the same conclusion that I have. Money and inflation more than anything else runs and controls the rise and fall of the market. Today, there are a number of individuals, like George Soros for example, or investment groups out there who have so much money that they can manipulate the market to their own advantage. Going back in history let's look at the Titanic's owners, the White Star line. The owner who didn't take the voyage and survived realized that the sinking would also sink his company. Immediately, and indirectly, in order to disguise his identity. He began buying up large blocks of White Star stock. The effect was that even though the liner sank, the other investors seeing that others were buying up every share they could find, also began buying. When the value of the stock reach the level that the White Star owner wanted, he dumped all of it. History has recorded what happened next. Sometimes you might find that flying to Vegas and putting you r money in a one arm bandit might afford you much better odds than you would find on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,143.45 -195.79 -1.07%
S&P 500 2,151.13 -20.24 -0.93%
NASD 5,269.15 -49.39 -0.93%

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Related Tickers

9/29/2016 4:35 PM
^DJI $18143.45 Down -195.79 -1.07%
HD $127.93 Down -0.34 -0.27%
Home Depot CAPS Rating: ****
HPQ $15.39 Down -0.10 -0.65%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
KO $42.03 Down -0.12 -0.28%
Coca-Cola CAPS Rating: ****