Hewlett-Packard Plummets, but the Dow Shakes It Off

Hewlett-Packard Plummets, but the Dow Shakes It Off

To start today's trading session off, initial unemployment claims increased by 13,000 to 336,000 -- slightly higher than estimates. Despite the worse-than-expected results, claims are still near five-year lows. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trying yet again to snap its six-session losing streak, up 60 points as of 2:55 P.M. EDT. The market could be following the rally in Europe, as German manufacturing activity in August expanded at the fastest rate in more than two years. Back in the U.S., the Dow was also supported by some of its stronger components. Here are a couple of today's big movers.

Boeing is one of the heavier-weighted components in the Dow, and it has helped push the index higher today, gaining 1.1%. Recent headlines for the company haven't been extremely positive, with its 787 Dreamliner causing multiple headaches, but that hasn't stopped the stock from soaring more than 40% this year. Boeing boasts a $410 billion backlog of sales production and expects global commercial-aircraft demand to reach 35,000 units over the next two decades -- their total worth is an estimated $4.8 trillion.

That seems to have analysts optimistic on Boeing's future, and Monday Sterne Agee reiterated a buy rating in a research note to investors. Analysts at Jefferies Group and Deutsche Bank also recently reiterated a buy rating on Boeing shares.

Hewlett-Packard is the Dow's biggest loser by a long shot. It announced poor third-quarter results after the closing bell yesterday, and the stock has dropped 12% today. CEO Meg Whitman reversed earlier predictions of revenue growth in fiscal year 2014 as revenue declined 8% to $27.2 billion compared to last year's third quarter.

This just adds to the doubt surrounding the company's turnaround potential. Things don't look set to improve in the short term as the PC market is undermined by alternative computing products flooding the market. Investors are also not expecting much value to be returned through share buybacks or dividend increases, as the majority of the company's cash flow will be used for debt repayment in the near future.

Outside the Dow, Ford is up 0.9% as the company's focus begins to shift toward a big year in 2014. The company will redesign the heart and soul of its entire vehicle lineup: its iconic Mustang and F-150. Ford's F-Series has been America's best-selling vehicle for 31 years. The Mustang is Ford's halo vehicle, and its value goes far beyond sales. It's often the champion of Ford's brand image and is featured in movies, TV shows, and races across the nation.

Both redesigns will be extremely important for different reasons. The Mustang is expected to transform into a smaller, more efficient vehicle that can sell overseas to help increase Ford's market share in China and Europe. The F-150 brings in the majority of Ford's profit, and the company needs to produce a vehicle one step above of crosstown rivals General Motors and Chrysler, which have recently redesigned the Ram, Silverado, and Sierra. As the automotive market continues its rebound, investors remain optimistic about Ford as an investment.

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