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Tesla Surges Higher as Dow Sputters Along

By John Divine - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:14PM

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There were a lot of individual movements in an otherwise placid Dow.

April's first day of trading got off to a rocky start, as Wall Street showed its lack of enthusiasm for the most recent domestic manufacturing numbers. March's Institute for Supply Management factory index came in below expectations, nearly showing a contraction in U.S. industry. Despite this, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.47%) ended only modestly lower, losing five points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 14,572. 

While the Dow traded sideways, some components still saw some pretty wide swings. Health-care providers rose across the board today, and UnitedHealth Group (UNH 1.38%) was one of them, adding 3.1% in anticipation of Medicare Advantage rate announcements after the bell. Rising as much as another 3% after hours, investors were pleased with the profit potential the new prices imply for health-care providers like UnitedHealth.

One sector that didn't have such a bang-up day was technology, and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 2.62%) epitomized that sluggishness, falling 2.2%. One of the chip maker's top executives, Senior Vice President Ajei Gopal, is leaving the company to take a job with Silver Lake Partners, the private equity firm that's taking Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) private. For a company in the middle of a turnaround, losing valuable members of its leadership team isn't exactly what you want to see.

Shrugging off the dismal performance in the rest of tech today, shares of BlackBerry (BB 13.64%) rallied 4.6%. The company, despite losing 3 million subscribers in the last quarter alone, recently came out with new software that's still fresh on the scene in U.S. markets. It also didn't hurt that a Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) analyst hiked estimates for BlackBerry sales in the current quarter by a cool 1 million phones.

But even BlackBerry's rise was no match for Tesla Motors (TSLA 5.71%), which rocketed 15.9% higher today as the company confirmed that it will finally turn a profit in the first quarter on better-than-expected sales of its Model S. Some of the run-up was also due to speculation. Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted last week that there will be a major company announcement on April 2.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$32,196.66 (1.47%) $466.36
HP Inc. Stock Quote
HP Inc.
HPQ
$36.78 (2.62%) $0.94
BlackBerry Stock Quote
BlackBerry
BB
$5.83 (13.64%) $0.70
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
TSLA
$769.59 (5.71%) $41.59
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Stock Quote
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
UNH
$485.40 (1.38%) $6.60

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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