The markets rallied again today after a strong consumer sentiment report was released this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose 121 points or 0.8% and now sits at 15,354, but even with that impressive gain, the Dow was the worst performing index. The S&P 500 was the best, as it increased by 1.03% during the regular trading session while the NASDAQ rose higher by 0.97%.
The Thomson Reuter/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for May rose to 83.7, while analysts were only expecting an increase to 77.9 after April's reading came in at 76.4. Furthermore, this is the highest the index has been since July 2007. But, despite the consumer index climbing higher, a number of the Dow's consumer facing stocks fell this afternoon.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are down 0.42% after its closest competitor Dell (UNKNOWN:DELL.DL) announced worse than expected quarterly results last night. Dell's profits dropped 80% during the quarter and the company is on the verge of actually losing money in its PC business as margins shrink . Dell's report comes just days before H-P is scheduled to release earnings on May 22, and after the numbers Dell put up, Hewlett-Packard shares are likely growing anxious to see what their company has done over the past few months.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) lost 0.28% of their value today after a major European Coke bottler, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling announced earnings yesterday, and shares fell 5.78% during today's session . Selling shares of Coke based on one bottler's results is not likely the best investing move. While Coke will likely struggle in Europe as many nations bounce in and out of a recession, Coke is a worldwide company and has many areas which are growing and posting solid results. We all need to remember Coke is a long-term buy and hold stock, if you're looking for massive growth, this may not be the best place to put money to work.
Another major consumer facing company Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) also moved into the red today. Shares fell 0.22% on very little news, but I mentioned earlier today that Wal-Mart was forced to cut prices on both groceries and daily necessities in order to move product. It's likely a large portion of the daily goods consumers buy are Procter & Gamble products and while P&G wouldn't fell the price cuts Wal-Mart makes, it may feel lighter volume.
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