Despite Positive Economic Data at Home, U.S. Stocks Fall on International Weakness


Here at home, investors were hit with strong housing numbers, and lower-than-expected jobless claims. Unfortunately, poor industrial purchasing numbers, and the fall of the Japanese stock market by 7% last night, sent a wave of fear throughout the U.S. markets this morning. At one point, around 10 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen 127 points, but it slowly recovered, and actually climbed as high as 15,348, which is 41 points higher than were it closed yesterday. But, when the closing bell rang, the blue-chip index was down 12 points, or 0.08%. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq experienced similar rides today, and ended the day down 0.29% and 0.11%, respectively.

Although the markets, in general, had a bad day, a few Dow stocks rose higher.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard took off today, gaining an astonishing 17.10% during today's regular trading period. The move came after H-P announced first-quarter earnings last night after the market closed. The company beat the street's estimates for operating profit of $0.81 per share by posting $0.87. And, although revenue declined by 10%, its $27.6 billion in sales still beat what analysts were expecting. But, what investors surely liked the most, was that H-P is still on track with its turnaround plan, and those surrounding Meg Whitman truly believe that, over time, she can get the company back on track.

Boeing was also flying higher today after the stock was upgraded by Bank of America this morning. B of A increased its price target on the stock to $120 per share, and held its rating at a "Buy." The analyst believes that Boeing will be able to deliver more planes this year than it had in the past. If that's the case, investors should see revenue and profits both rise in the coming quarters. In other news pertaining to Boeing, the Chinese government approved the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for commercial use within the country. This will likely open up a number of doors for Boeing as Chinese airlines update their aging fleets. Shares of Boeing rose 1.86% today.

Another analyst's comments caused shares of Cisco to move higher by 0.73% today. Citigroup recently put out a report in which the investment bank said that they believe Cisco's economic leverage was under-appreciated by the market. The report went further, stating that positive earnings could push the share price as high as $30. Citigroup currently has a buy rating on the stock, with a $26 price target.

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. 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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