This Stock Is Leading the Dow to an All-Time High


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to a new all-time high following two positive economic reports. As of 1:35 p.m. EST the Dow is up 157 points, or 1.1%, to 14,285. The S&P 500 is up 1.2% to 1,543.

There were two U.S. economic releases today.





CoreLogic Home Price Index




ISM Non-Manufacturing Index




The first economic release was CoreLogic's Home Price Index, which rose 0.7% from December and 9.7% in the 12-month period ending Jan. 31. CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming noted:

The [Home Price Index] showed strong growth during the typically slow winter season. With these gains, the housing market is poised to enter the spring selling season on sound footing. The improvements are materializing across the country, with all but Delaware and Illinois showing increasing HPI and 15 states within 10 percent of their peak values.

The second economic release was from the Institute for Supply Management, which reported that its Non-Manufacturing Index rose 0.8 percentage points to 56% in February. That's above January's 55.2% and analyst expectations of 55.2%. Any reading higher than 50% indicates economic growth. The rise in the index to 56% indicates that responders believe the economy is still growing, and at a faster rate than in January.

Today's Dow leader
Leading the Dow to record highs is beleaguered tech giantHewlett-Packard , up 2.6%. Last year was rough for HP, which finished down 46% after two $8 billion-plus writedowns for relatively recent acquisitions. The second of those writedowns was for Autonomy, which was purchased in August of 2011 for $10.3 billion and written down for $8.8 billion in November 2012.

Today, in response to the Autonomy disaster, institutional proxy advisor ISS recommended that shareholders in Hewlett-Packard vote against the re-election of HP chairman Ray Lane, as well as board members John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson. John Hammergren is chairman and CEO of McKesson and chairs HP's finance and investment committee. G. Kennedy Thompson was CEO of Wachovia from 2000 to 2008 and is chairman of HP's audit committee.

Meg Whitman's turnaround of the company is beginning to take shape. A key part of that should include the removal of those who were responsible for oversight of the company's two enormously failed acquisitions.

The question remains: Is HP one of the least appreciated turnaround stories on the market, or is this a minor detour on its road to irrelevance? The Motley Fool's technology analyst details exactly what investors need to know about HP in our new premium research report. Just click here now to get your copy today.

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Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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