HP Rescues Stocks
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Better than expected results from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) helped investors forget about troubles at Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) for a day.
HP's shares gained 5.7% even as shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged more than 20% to the low single digits, as investors effectively began pricing in a government bailout of the mortgage giants.
Stock indexes seesawed between modest losses and gains before rallying in the final hour of trading, although the Nasdaq finished well off its highs for the day.
HP's earnings report was good news for Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), which gained 2.2% ahead of its quarterly results next week.
Mentor Graphics (NASDAQ: MENT) jumped 10% after beating estimates, and Verifone (NYSE: PAY) soared 32% on an upbeat outlook.
EBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) lost 1.7% after cutting its fixed-price selling fees.
Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) continued its remarkable six-day rally, up another 5%.
In late trading, Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) and JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ: JDSU) fell on their results.
The Nasdaq rose 4 to 2389, the S&P gained 8 to 1274, and the Dow climbed 68 to 11,417. Volume rose to 4.57 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.79 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by an 18-15 margin on the NYSE, while decliners held a 14-13 edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 58% on the NYSE, and 52% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 12-118 on the NYSE, and 31-102 on the Nasdaq.
Note: The Market Close will return on Monday, August 25.