Hewlett-Packard Stock Surges as the Dow Drops

Following some mixed economic reports, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is flat as of 1:15 p.m. EDT, while the S&P 500 is down about a point to 1,706. Hewlett-Packard is surging today, up nearly 4%.

There were three U.S. economic releases today.





Nonfarm payrolls




Unemployment rate




Personal income




Consumer spending




PCE price index




Core PCE price index




Factory orders




The two to pay attention to are the employment report and the personal-consumption expenditures price index. The government revised jobs growth for May and June downward, now saying the economy added 26,000 fewer jobs over those two months than previously estimated. Nonfarm payrolls grew by just 162,000 in July, falling short of June's 188,000-job growth and analyst expectations of 180,000.

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls Chart

US Change in Nonfarm Payrolls data by YCharts.

The lackluster growth was still enough to bring the unemployment rate down to a five-year low of 7.4%.

US Unemployment Rate Chart

US Unemployment Rate data by YCharts.

The drop stemmed from jobs growth and a drop in the participation rate, which measures the number of workers employed or looking for jobs. This brings the economy closer to the Fed's target of 6.5% unemployment. The Fed has said it could begin tapering asset purchases as soon as unemployment falls to 7%.

The other metrics the Federal Reserve is watching are current inflation and forecast inflation. While inflation expectations have risen slightly to 2.25%, inflation as measured by the Personal Consumption Expenditure price index, the Federal Reserve's favored measure, remains low.

US PCE Inflation Rate Chart

US PCE Inflation Rate data by YCharts.

Today's report showed that the PCE price index rose 0.4% in June, while the Core PCE price index rose 0.2%. Year over year, the PCE price index is up just 1%, indicating that inflation is slow and well below the Fed's target of 2%.

Today's Dow leader is Hewlett-Packard, up 3.%. The stock hit an intraday 52-week high today of $27.78. It's unclear why the stock is surging; speculation ranges from investors dumping Dell in favor of HP to an activist investor taking a stake. The stock has been on a tear, up 92% since the start of the year as Meg Whitman's turnaround slowly takes effect. While the stock has certainly turned around, it remains to be seen whether the business will do the same.

Another tech stock that has rocketed this year caught the eye of the Motley Fool's Chief technology officer. This incredible tech stock is growing twice as fast as Google and Facebook, and more than three times as fast as Amazon.com and Apple. Watch our jaw-dropping investor alert video today to find out why The Motley Fool's chief technology officer is putting $117,238 of his own money on the table and why he's so confident this will be a huge winner in 2013 and beyond. Just click here to watch!

The article Hewlett-Packard Stock Surges as the Dow Drops originally appeared on Fool.com.

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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story