2 Stocks Propping Up the Dow and 1 Big Loser

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

It's been a strong week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , but the market is taking a breather today, and the index has risen a meager four points as of 2:55 p.m. EDT. One thing that isn't helping the market any is the announcement that two states incorrectly reported unemployment claims, causing the figure to fall to the lowest level of claims since April 2006. There aren't too many winners in the Dow today, but here are some of the biggest movers.

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ  ) is one of the Dow's biggest gainers today, up 1.9%. Investors seem to be warming up to the idea of the company purchasing the remaining 45% stake of Verizon Wireless, but to help pay for this purchase Verizon initiated a corporate bond offering of $49 billion. That's a huge offering, blowing past the previous record of $17 billion set by Apple.

This is the latest instance of corporations rushing to sell debt, as long-term interest rates are expected to rise when the Federal Reserve decides to wind down its stimulus. Next week the Fed holds a two-day meeting, and most analyst expects a clearer indication when this will take place.

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) is also a rare Dow winner today, up 0.8%. Boeing announced that it will showcase products designed for the U.S. Air Force during an exposition starting Sept. 16 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland.

"This event is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate Boeing's expertise in delivering more capability at less cost to the U.S. Air Force and the nation's allies," said Jack Catton, Boeing Government Operations' vice president of combat Air Force systems, in a press release.

As defense cuts loom, Boeing investors will want to keep an eye on the company's innovation and cost-cutting measures to see if it can edge competitors out while contracts continue to thin out.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) has had a rough go lately, and it's one of the biggest losers in the Dow today, down 1.5%. Recently it was announced that HP would be dropped from the Dow, and that seems to sum up the company's prospects at this point in time -- pretty dismal. While the company says it's making progress in its turnaround, the PC business faces steep sales declines while substitute technology and products flood the market. Other giant companies, such as Cisco, are eying HP's traditional business and will increase competition in key markets, likely lowering margins for HP.

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