This morning investors found out that consumer confidence is up to its highest level since 2008, housing prices continue to rise and are now 3% higher than where they sat a year ago, and Greece will get additional aid and hopefully its last bailout. Yet the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is still down 0.15% as of 1 p.m. EST. Even though good news is pouring in from all sides, the biggest issue facing the U.S. economy is the fiscal cliff, and we still don't have any signs of a deal at this time. Because of that, the Dow continues to be a mixed bag. So far during today's trading session, 18 of the Dow's 30 components are in the red.
The Dow's big losers
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) once again, is the Dow's biggest loser, with shares down 1.7% today. This morning it was announced that a law firm is investigating officers and directors of HP to determine whether there was a breach of fiduciary duty to shareholders when deciding to acquire the software company Autonomy. It was recently announced that Hewlett-Packard took an $8.8 billion writedown because of Autonomy, and management has suggested that it found some accounting irregularities within that division. At this time no lawsuit has been filed, nor has the company decided whether to file one.
ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and fellow Dow oil giant Chevron (NYSE:CVX) are also in the red today, down 0.8% and 0.87%, respectively. As the global economic slowdown continues, demand for crude oil continues to falter, causing the oil companies to slide. Year to date, Exxon is now up a mere 3.62%, while the Dow has risen 5.8%, and Chevron is actually down 2%. Both companies also pay healthy dividends with yields of 2.6% and 3.4%, respectively; concerns over the possible new dividend tax rate may be playing a role in their poor stock performance.
Lastly, shares of American Express (NYSE:AXP) are down 1% as the other Dow financials rise. Fellow credit card company Visa (NYSE:V) reported today that consumers spent $5 billion online starting on Black Friday and ending on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday alone accounts for $2 billion of the total -- a 21% increase from last year. American Express hasn't released any results yet, and that, plus the 21% increase Visa saw, may indicate that American Express is losing market share.