Lights Go Out, but Dow Gets a Win

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

After a six-day slide, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) finally had a winning session, closing up 66 points, or 0.4%, on a day when a three-hour outage on the Nasdaq froze much of the market. Wall Street seemed to recover from yesterday's late dip following the Federal Reserve's minutes, as nothing really changed regarding expectations of the coming stimulus taper. Economic reports were mostly positive, as last week's initial unemployment claims came in at 336,000, essentially in line with estimates. While that was an increase of 13,000 from the figure a week ago, it brought the four-week moving average to 330,500, its lowest level since November 2007, indicating that the domestic employment picture continues to improve. Leading indicators for July were up 0.6%, 0.1% better than expectations, and home prices increased 0.7% in June.

Following its earnings report last night, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) shares imploded today, falling 12.5% as the market was turned off by poor results in its enterprise division. With PC sales being displaced by tablets, enterprise is seen as the crux of HP's turnaround strategy, but sales in the segment fell 9.4%, and CEO Meg Whitman installed a new head in the division. HP did report results essentially in line with estimates, but the only growth area in the report was software, which moved up a piddling 1%. The tech heavyweight also said it doesn't see revenue growth coming in 2014 as it had earlier promised.

With HP fading, the stakes for the reigning tech titans have only gone up. At stake is the future of a trillion-dollar revolution: mobile. To find out which of these giants is set to dominate the next decade, we've created a free report called "Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest Tech Stocks?" Inside, you'll find out which companies are set to dominate and give in-the-know investors an edge. To grab a copy of this report, simply click here -- it's free!

HP's closest cousin on the Dow, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , finished at the other end of the spectrum today, gaining 2.5% after an upgrade from Nomura to "buy" from "neutral." The research firm said it sees a benefit from ValueACT's stake in the company and push for change. The activist firm may get a seat on Microsoft's board, and it seeks to steer the software giant toward enterprise solutions and cloud-based services and away from consumer software. Given Microsoft's tumble in its earnings report and HP's recent performance in enterprise, this strategy seems dubious to me.

Finally, Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) were also big gainers today, moving up 2.4% and 1.5%, respectively. The two manufacturing have been the worst-performing Dow components this year because of weak demand for their products, but a strong manufacturing report from China helped boost shares today. The HSBC Purchasing Manufacturers Index jumped to 50.1, a four-month high, up from 47.7 in July. The figure shows a slight expansion, and that manufacturing activity may be finally stabilizing in China, a key market for Alcoa and Caterpillar.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2607126, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/26/2016 8:33:10 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
AA $9.76 Down -0.02 -0.20%
Alcoa CAPS Rating: ***
CAT $82.44 Down -1.06 -1.27%
Caterpillar CAPS Rating: ***
HPQ $15.09 Down -0.03 -0.20%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
MSFT $57.43 Down -0.39 -0.67%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****