This morning it seemed as if today would be uneventful. The market was calm as investors held their breath ahead of tomorrow's unemployment data. But around noon EDT the markets took a nosedive, and as of 12:55 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has lost 95 points, or 0.63%. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is down 0.49%, while the Nasdaq is lower by 0.55%. The jobless-claims number that came out this morning was not enough to get investors buying. The number of claims fell 11,000 from last week to 346,000 -- right in line with expectations.
A few Dow losers
Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) are down 2.2%, making it the Dow's worst performer as of this writing. Since the price of crude oil is moving higher and there is little news regarding the company today, the likely cause for the decline is yesterday's Barclays downgrade. The analyst downgraded Chevron shares from "overweight" to "equal weight." Additionally the price target was lowered from $145 to $133. The main reasons cited for the change were valuation concerns and capital expenditures.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) could also be experiencing a downgrade hangover today as shares drop 1.7%. Yesterday analysts from JPMorgan Chase claimed that the company would likely report lower-than-expected results for the coming quarter because of weak PC sales around the world. Additionally, Morgan Stanley and Bernstein Research reiterated their sell-equivalent ratings due to the flagging PC market.
These reports may also be having an effect on Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) today: Shares of the partially PC-reliant company are down 1.6%. Some would argue that HP is not really a PC company anymore. However, while the company receives a large amount of its revenue from areas besides PC sales, at the end of the day HP still needs to sell personal computers if it wants to stay alive. A large part of CEO Meg Whitman's strategy is lowering the company's reliance on that industry, but HP is only 18 months into a five-year turnaround plan.
HP may be rapidly shifting its strategy under Whitman's leadership, but does that 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.