HP Dodges Downtrend

Subprime mortgage troubles and $100 a barrel oil may be hurting the rest of the stock market and the economy, but HP seems to be weathering the current economic woes just fine, thank you.

HP’s 13% sales growth to $28.5 billion and 86-cent-a-share earnings soundly beat Wall Street estimates late Tuesday, and HP’s forward guidance was better than expected too.

PC sales were particularly strong, up 24%, and strong global growth helped balance 8% sales growth in the Americas.

The results boosted HP shares by 5% in after-hours trading.

A strong rally in Tuesday’s trading session gave way to modest losses after oil closed above $100 a barrel for the first time, and a wireless price war between AT&T and Verizon sent shares of both companies more than 5% lower.

Sony rose 5% after its Blu-Ray technology won the next-generation DVD format war after Toshiba bowed out.

Yahoo shares fell 2.2% on reports that Microsoft said it won’t raise its offer for the company and may wage a proxy battle. Google shares lost 4% after the company said its efforts to reduce accidental clicks could affect revenues.

Micron jumped 5% on an analyst upgrade, while Sigma Designs fell 10% on a downgrade.

The Nasdaq lost 15 to 2306, the S&P slipped 1 to 1348, and the Dow lost 10 to 12,337. Volume rose to 3.61 billion shares on the NYSE, and declined to 2 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 19-14 margin on the NYSE, while decliners led 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 31% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 56-87 on the NYSE, and 44-148 on the Nasdaq.

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