Dow Opens Big but Quickly Falls Into the Red


As the opening bell rang this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average bolted out of the gate, quickly hitting the day's high of 15,241 for a 119-point gain. However, the blue-chip index fell steadily from that peak, and as of 2:55 p.m. EDT it's down 111 points, or 0.73%. The other two major indexes are faring similarly: The S&P 500 is down 0.74%, while the Nasdaq is down 0.9%.

A few Dow highlights
Shares of Hewlett-Packard are up 3.1%, easily making it the best-performing Dow component today. The next-best performer is Pfizer , which is up 0.7% after the company received a settlement of $2.15 billion in a patent suit involving the company's acid-reflux drug. On the flip side, American Express is down 2%, making it the worst Dow performer of the day.

Hewlett-Packard's gains are the result of CEO Meg Whitman's appearance on CNBC this morning, in which she discussed the company's turnaround. Whitman believes the company can increase revenue in 2013 despite slowing PC sales, and she explained that HP is ahead of her five-year turnaround schedule. Additionally, the company recently announced a few new products that have investors excited. The company's new products represent a major shift, as its new IT devices run not on Microsoft software, but on Google products. Perhaps this is the kind of change the company needs. My colleague Anders Bylund went into further detail about the new products earlier today.

While it's easy to see why Hewlett-Packard is higher today, American Express is another story. My Fool colleague Dan Caplinger noted this morning that the company is highly leveraged to the travel and tourism market, and with issues continuing to worsen in Turkey, a major tourist destination, investors may be concerned that short-term results will be affected by the civil unrest in the country. That may not be the full reason shares have moved lower today, but it's as good a guess as any.

More foolish insight
Do Whitman's ambitious turnaround plans make HP one of the least-appreciated comeback 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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Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends American Express. 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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Originally published