The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose just slightly on Wednesday, gaining a bit more than 20 points as of 11:15 a.m. EST. In light of the holiday-shortened trading week, there was a flurry of economic data released, with reports coming in mixed.
Consumers are feeling better than expected
The University of Michigan's consumer-confidence survey was released early on Wednesday. Economists had been expecting a reading of 73.5, but the results came in far better than expected at 75.1.
The index is intended to measure consumer confidence, and though it isn't the single best indicator of economic growth, a positive reading might be especially pertinent this time of year. Going into the holiday-shopping season, confident consumers may be more likely to spend.
HP posts impressive quarter
HP's management is certainly feeling confident in the wake of a terrific quarter. The PC giant may have lost its status as a Dow component, but CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround strategy seems to finally be taking shape.
HP beat analysts' expectations for earnings by $0.01 -- the consensus estimate was $1 -- while revenue of $29.1 billion was also a slight beat. Both HP's printing and PC businesses shrunk, but there are encouraging signs elsewhere.
IBM could be benefiting from HP's beat
Revenues from HP's enterprise group, which includes HP's servers and networking equipment, were up 1.8%, while server revenue in particular was up about 10%.
This might have contributed to the slight bump seen in shares of IBM. The Dow component rose a bit more than 1% early on Wednesday, outperforming the indices. There was no news in particular to account for IBM's move, but investors may have been projecting HP's encouraging server results onto IBM. When IBM last reported earnings in October, shares tumbled, partially because the company had a difficult time selling servers.
TiVo grows, but shares still slump
Like HP, TiVo also reported a solid quarter, but shares fell early on Wednesday anyway. Analysts at Evercore Partners downgraded the stock in the wake of the company's earnings, citing more cautious guidance than expected.
Nevertheless, TiVo reported a solid quarter, with 32% subscriber growth and solid sales of the company's recently released super DVR, the TiVo Roamio. Still, the company appears more dependent on the larger cable industry than ever, with most of its subscriber additions coming through distribution deals with cable companies. In the long run, that could prove problematic, as the paid-TV industry is shrinking.