HP Rockets on Results

Shares of HP soared 13% Tuesday — a huge move for a blue-chip stock — after the Dow component beat earnings estimates and raised guidance.

Investors and analysts applauded HP’s turnaround from a dismal quarter a year ago. Steve Milunovich of Merrill Lynch said it appears that new CEO Mark Hurd’s “culture of accountability is beginning to have an effect.”

HP’s strong results stood in marked contrast to recent disappointing results from Dell and Gateway , and HP seemed to fare better than its rivals in PC pricing and enterprise sales.

Still, HP has a ways to go to convince analysts that its turnaround is permanent. Goldman Sachs raised ratings on HP Wednesday, but said it favors Dell as a long-term investment.

HP’s stellar results and falling oil prices saved stocks from a much stronger than expected wholesale inflation report Wednesday.

The Nasdaq rose 8 to 2145, the S&P added 1 to 1220, and the Dow climbed 37 to 10,550. Volume rose to 1.86 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.56 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 17-15 on the NYSE, while advancers held a 15-14 edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 46% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 68-29 on the NYSE, and 56-37 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Network Appliance beat lowered estimates and Salesforce.com met estimates but offered mixed guidance.

During the day, Applied Materials rose 6% after the chip equipment maker beat earnings estimates and raised order guidance, an important indicator of future growth.

Blue Coat Systems soared 25% on stronger than expected earnings.

Photronics plunged 19% after missing revenue estimates.

News Around the Web