Yesterday's jitters have carried through to today's market session. Investors aren't getting a break from the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) slump this week, as the blue-chip index has lost 86 points as of 2:25 p.m. EDT. Surprisingly, few of the Dow's member stocks have moved far in either direction, but with the significant majority of Dow stocks in the red, the index as a whole is tilting down.
Wall Street continues to fret about stimulus in the U.S. and in Japan, and questions about easing won't likely be answered soon. Let's look at how the biggest movers today are handling the Dow's downbeat session.
HP breaks out of the red
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) ranks at the top of the index among a few members holding their ground in the green. The volatile stock has jumped 3.7% so far today after company CEO Meg Whitman told CNBC earlier today that the company's turnaround program is proceeding ahead of schedule. While Whitman admitted that her company still has far to go before it can dig itself out of its hole, she also said that revenue growth is possible at HP this year.
HP has expanded into data analytics and other growth areas recently as it looks to branch out from its core PC business. With the PC market under siege, investors have to hope that the firm's expansion away from that industry pays off -- otherwise, Whitman's cautious optimism may be delusion.
Fellow tech stock IBM (NYSE: IBM ) isn't having such a good day: Big Blue's shares have fallen 1.5% to rank among the top Dow laggards. The company is looking to cut costs by cutting employees, particularly after a worse-than-expected first quarter sunk the firm's stock by nearly 8% in one day back in April. The firm is planning to spend up to $1 billion on the cuts, which began today and could encompass up to 8,000 workers around the globe.
Energy stocks aren't much better off today. Two of Big Oil's top players are mired in the red: Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) have fallen 1.2% and 0.7%, respectively. Chevron made waves today after the firm announced that it will sell its rights to two oil blocks off the Nigerian coast. Chevron hasn't begun production at either of the blocks, of which it is 40% owner and which are estimated to hold a combined 200 million barrels of oil. The company has performed well in Nigeria in recent years, producing some 238,000 barrels of crude oil daily in 2012.
Exxon, meanwhile, is headed to the Arctic. The company is prepared to set up an Arctic Research Center with Russian oil giant Rosneft near the Kara Sea in Russia. The joint establishment will allow Exxon and Rosneft to study environmental safety and protection while also allowing both firms to research improvements in efficiency and effectiveness in technology design. It'll cost around $200 million for Exxon, but considering that interest in Arctic energy-exploration remains high, it looks like money well spent for the company's future in deepwater drilling.
Is HP's turnaround worth betting on?
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