The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher yesterday following the Fed’s announcement that it would continue with its quantitative easing program until there are more improvements in the labor market. With fresh assurances that there would be no increases in interest rates or other changes on the way, investors pushed the Dow to a new intraday high, and ultimately to a 55-point gain.
Today we’re seeing a much different picture — 25 of the Dow’s 30 component stocks are in the red, with the technology sector sporting the biggest losses. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the leader of the pack so far in trading, down 3.53% just before 11 a.m. The networking giant was recently downgraded by Wall Street analysts, who cited weaker demand for its products. This coincides with the bad news from Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) last night that it is seeing a weaker environment, creating lesser demand across all of its tech segments, which sent its stock into a nosedive. Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL) has been down by as much as 10% today, and is currently down 9%. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Cisco is feeling some negative effects from Oracle’s announcements.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is also down this morning, trading at a 2.22% loss so far. Despite winning a new contract with the state of Ohio for a tech upgrade and its recent success with its Boston “smart city” collaboration, Big Blue has a cloud hanging over its head. Polish authorities are investigating a bribing scheme that involved a high-ranking member of the Polish government who determined the winners of lucrative government contracts. IBM has made it clear that the investigation only includes the work of a former employee. Also implicated in the investigation are Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ:ORCL).
Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is down 1.07% this morning. On top of the Polish investigation, shareholders demonstrated their frustration with the company’s botched Autonomy deal through their votes on the re-election of HP’s board of directors. Though all candidates up for re-election won, there were some very close calls, including for chairman Ray Lane’s seat. Perhaps in a move to assuage shareholders, the board approved a 10% increase in the company’s dividend. The new payout will raise the per-share dividend from $0.132 to $0.1452, increasing HP’s costs of distribution by $106 million. Though the company reported a 16% decrease in profits for its first quarter last month and there is continued pressure from the changing personal computing environment, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is looking to increase value to shareholders.
The article Did the Dow Catch a Virus From the Tech Sector? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Jessica Alling.
Fool contributor Jessica Alling has no position in any stocks mentioned, but you can contact her here. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM). and Oracle.
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