Better-than-expected earnings from Hewlett-Packard along with
a couple of encouraging domestic reports guided benchmarks higher
on Wednesday. Initial claims numbers and the Michigan consumer
sentiment report boosted investor confidence. Meanwhile,
manufacturing activity in Chicago declined in November from the
previous month but came in above market expectations. The
technology sector was the biggest gainer among the S&P 500
industry groups while energy stocks lost the most.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure
to read today's
Ahead of Wall Street
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.2% to close the
day at 16,097.33. The S&P 500 added 0.3% to finish
Wednesday's trading session at 1,807.23. The tech-laden Nasdaq
Composite Index increased 0.7% to end at 4,044.75. The fear-gauge
CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) advanced 1.3% to settle at 12.98.
Total volume on the NYSE was 2.6 billion shares. Advancing stocks
outnumbered the decliners. For 60% shares that advanced, 37%
Better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings from
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:
) was largely responsible for boosting investor sentiment on
Wednesday. Both earnings and revenue came in above expectations.
Excluding items, the company reported earnings per share of
$1.01, down from the year ago figure of $1.16 a share. However,
this was above the Street's expectations of $1per share. What was
most encouraging was the revenue numbers, which came in at $29.13
billion, beating the Street's expectations of $27.91
billion. The company's shares jumped nearly 9% after the
announcement of quarterly numbers.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported initial claims numbers.
According to the report, initial claims fell 10,000 to 316,000
from previous week's revised figure of 326,000. This was
considerably below the consensus estimate of 328,000. The four
week's moving average decreased 7,500 to 331,750 from previous
week's revised average of 339,250. This was one of the positive
reports for the day which helped stocks move upwards.
Among encouraging reports, consumer confidence increased to
75.1in November from October's figure of 73.2 according to the
Thomson Reuters/ University of Michigan. This was above the
consensus estimate of 73.2. The consumer confidence index had an
average of 89 for five consecutive years before December 2007,
and 64.2 in the 18-month recession that followed afterwards.
According to the Institute of Supply Management, the Chicago
purchasing managers' index fell to 63 in November from previous
month's figure of 65.9. This was above the consensus estimate of
59.9. It is also below October's figure of 65.9.
The durable goods report from the U.S. Department of Commerce was
the only disappointing piece of news. New orders for manufactured
durable goods decreased 2.0% to $230.3 billion. This decrease was
higher than the consensus estimate of 1.7%. Shipments of
manufactured durable goods in October increased 0.2% to $233.2
billion. Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in
October increased 0.3% to $1,045.4 billion. Inventories of
manufactured durable goods in October increased 0.3% to $383.3
billion. Meanwhile, non-defense new orders for capital goods in
October decreased 3.9% to $77.9 billion.
Also, the oil prices declined to their lowest in the past six
months after the U.S. government reported the tenth time weekly
increase in crude supplies. U.S. oil prices decreased 2% to
$92.30 per barrel after the announcement.
Subsequently, energy stocks dropped the most among the S&P
500 industry groups and the Energy SPDR (XLE) lost 0.7%. Stocks
such as Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:
), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:
), Schlumberger Limited. (NYSE:
), Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:
), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:
) declined 0.5%, 0.3%, 1.7%, 2.5%, and 0.4%, respectively.
The technology sector was the biggest gainer among the S&P
500 industry groups on Wednesday. The Technology SPDR (XLK)
gained 0.8%. Stocks such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:
), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:
), AT&T Inc. (NYSE:
), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:
) added 2.4%, 0.4%, 0.7%, 0.4%, and 0.9%, respectively.
APPLE INC (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report
CONOCOPHILLIPS (COP): Free Stock Analysis
CHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis
GOOGLE INC-CL A (GOOG): Free Stock Analysis
HEWLETT PACKARD (HPQ): Free Stock Analysis
INTL BUS MACH (IBM): Free Stock Analysis
MICROSOFT CORP (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis
OCCIDENTAL PET (OXY): Free Stock Analysis
SCHLUMBERGER LT (SLB): Free Stock Analysis
AT&T INC (T): Free Stock Analysis Report
EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis
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