3 Dow Stocks Falling With the Unemployment Rate


Thanks to positive jobs numbers, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is moving upward very nicely today. As of 12:30 p.m. EDT, the Dow sits at 13,632, up more than 56 points, or 0.42%. The Department of Labor released jobs numbers this morning and revised past month's figure upward. The report showed that 114,000 jobs were created in September, while economists were expecting 115,000 new jobs. But the good news came with revisions from previous months, which now show that employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September. The national unemployment rate now is at 7.8% -- a rate not seen since January of 2009.

While this jobs report is boosting the Dow, a few stocks are trading lower on the day; Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) , Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) and UnitedHealthGroup (NYS: UNH) .

So why are they down?
Hewlett-Packard continues its decline today, down 0.4% at midday. Since HP's conference with security analyst two days ago, the company has been on a major downward slide. After dropping more than 13% on Wednesday, shares closed slightly higher yesterday. Investors have been rattled by management's cutting of its 2013 forecast and Meg Whitman's comments that a company turnaround will take longer than expected.

Microsoft is trading lower today by 0.1%. Yesterday the software company announced that it has bought a small firm called PhoneFactor, which uses phones to increase password security for websites. Microsoft did not disclose the acquisition price, but looking at past purchases, the software company has been known to overpay.

Finally, UnitedHealth group has seen its shares decline by 1.69% during today's trading session. While the positive unemployment numbers look good for the economy as a whole, they may be the cause of UnitedHealth's slide today. Dan Caplinger believes that because health care jobs are relatively higher-paying, and 44,000 of last month's jobs came from this sector, the stock is declining on concerns that costs may be rising faster than premiums.

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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