What's Wrong With This Dow Stock Today?


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is putting on a good show again today, up 40 points as of 1:50 p.m. EST. PC chip maker Intel and system builder Hewlett-Packard are among the biggest winners on the 30-ticker index, gaining 1.3% and 1.5%, respectively. Looking further afield, mobile-phone veteran Nokia is absolutely crushing it today, jumping 17% on surprisingly healthy Windows-based phone sales.

Given this market backdrop, how in the world did Microsoft manage to be the Dow's biggest dog today, falling 1.3%? All of its most important partners are going gangbusters. Shouldn't they drag Redmond along for the joyride almost by default?

Oh, but the market is never quite that transparent. Microsoft plunged on some personal bad news -- namely, a downgrade from influential investment bank Morgan Stanley. Analyst Adam Holt lowered his rating from "buy" to "hold" this morning. He still believes the stock is undervalued, but not by a wide enough margin to be worth the risk of parking your money there.

The introduction of the Windows 8 operating system has failed to re-ignite stalled PC sales, and the corporate upgrade cycle stalled because Windows 7 was just so darn effective in replacing the age-old Windows XP platform.

Mobile sales need help from app developers, because the current slate of high-quality apps for Windows 8 tablets isn't very impressive. Porting the Office suite to Apple iPads could provide a long-term catalyst, but Microsoft hasn't announced any such effort yet. Even Congress could help by lowering the tax burden of bringing home some of Mr. Softy's $50 billion of overseas cash holdings -- but again, Holt doesn't expect this to happen anytime soon.

So Microsoft is pressing its nose against the glass to gaze longingly at several potential catalysts that are doing nothing to help it -- and down the stock goes.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who have watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so be sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

The article What's Wrong With This Dow Stock Today? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Intel, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out Anders' bio and holdings or follow him on Twitter and Google+.The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing puts on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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