In the first day of trading since Friday's 208-point rally, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) began the week on a cautious note, trading slightly lower as some investors took short-term gains. Despite the decision by rating agency Standard & Poor's to upgrade its outlook on U.S. credit, the blue chip index still lost 9 points, or 0.1%, to close at 15,238. One of the few Dow standouts was Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) stock, which chalked up healthy gains on news from another tech giant.
That said, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) was the best Dow performer of the day, adding 1.8% after the price target of America's largest private health care provider was boosted by research outfit Susquehanna. The company beat earnings estimates last quarter, and financially speaking it's sitting pretty right now: The provider recently boosted its quarterly dividend by over 30%, and will pay the new dividend June 21 to shareholders on record as of this Wednesday, June 12.
But Intel's stock was not to be ignored either Monday, as shares tacked on 1.7%. Investors bid up the chipmaker after Apple announced that it will be going with Intel's Haswell chips in future versions of its MacBook lineup, citing the ability of the device to significantly enhance battery life.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), like the Dow, also spiked on Friday, and today it sold off slightly, slipping 0.7%. The company is reorganizing its management team in Europe, and today it announced the replacement of the head of enterprise operations in Germany. With the global PC industry slowly declining, HP is consciously becoming more enterprise-centric and clearly takes the direction of its leadership in that department very seriously.
Lastly, shares of Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) were the weakest in the index, slipping 1.6% by day's end. Monday's slide followed a nearly 3% increase in the stock's price on Friday. The House of Mouse is adding a new park in China, and CEO Bob Iger today said that it would incorporate important aspects of Chinese culture. With the gradual slowing rate of expansion in the Chinese economy, shareholders may be concerned that the park won't live up to expectations after it opens.
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