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Markets Manage to Post a Winning Session

By Matt Thalman - Apr 8, 2013 at 9:00PM

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Dow posts a winning session, although two health-care stocks and two technology companies moved lower.

Despite trading lower for most of the morning, the markets made an about-face around 2 p.m. ET, and the three major indexes all closed higher. The S&P 500 was the big winner of the day, after rising 9 points, or 0.63%, but the Nasdaq wasn't far behind, as it increased 0.57% during the day. Lagging behind was the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.76%), which posted a gain of 48 points, or 0.33%, and now sits at 14,613.

The biggest Dow loser today was Johnson & Johnson (JNJ 0.91%), as shares were cut by 1.13%, the direct result of a JPMorgan Chase downgrade. The analyst did, however, raise the price target from $77 per share to $83, while currently shares trade at $81.11. So why the lower rating? Valuation. The stock is one of the top-performing Dow components in 2013, as shares have risen 15.71% year to date. 

Another health care-related stock falling today was UnitedHealth Group (UNH 0.97%). After rising 8.5% this past week, and more than 5% the week before that, shares dropped 0.34% today. The decline is probably just a case of taking money off the table following the stock's performance over the past two weeks. The stock still probably has some room to move higher, and it now seems Obamacare will help rather than hurt the company. In addition, shares seem rather cheap, as the stock's current price-to-earnings ratio is only 11.72 and its future P/E is only 10.35.

Two technology stocks are also moved lower today, despite what would seem to be positive news for shareholders.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ 5.38%) fell 0.18% today, even though the company launched a new line of servers this morning. Some industry experts are calling this HP's biggest launch since 1989. The HP Moonshot 1500 System takes a very different approach to servers and has thus far received strong reviews.  

Shares of Microsoft (MSFT 2.76%) lost 0.38% this afternoon, after the company announced that it was selling its IPTV unit to Ericsson. Microsoft's IPTV business makes software that allows phone companies to deliver a television signal over the Internet. The terms of the sale and price weren't disclosed, but Ove Anebygd, Ericsson's vice president and head of TV, said it was more than $100 million, but less than $234 million. Microsoft's shareholders are used to seeing the company make big purchases, not big sales, so this may have come as a surprise to many.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$33,212.96 (1.76%) $575.77
HP Inc. Stock Quote
HP Inc.
HPQ
$38.75 (5.38%) $1.98
Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
MSFT
$273.24 (2.76%) $7.34
Johnson & Johnson Stock Quote
Johnson & Johnson
JNJ
$181.09 (0.91%) $1.63
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Stock Quote
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
UNH
$507.11 (0.97%) $4.88

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

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