Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Last Week’s Worst Performing Dow Components

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In a notable week in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke a six-day losing streak, the Nasdaq halted trading for a few hours, and some retailers saw massive moves after reporting earnings, the major indexes didn’t perform all that terribly. The Dow lost 70 points, or 0.47% — which should be seen as a victory after falling 344 points two weeks ago and 232 points three weeks ago. The blue-chip index now sits at 15,010, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both posted gains for the week. The S&P rose 7.63 points, or 0.46%, while the Nasdaq increased by 55 points, or 1.52%.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Before we hit the Dow losers, let’s look at this week’s best-performing component. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) saw its share price increase by 9.27% over the past five trading days, but the biggest single-day jump came on Friday, when the stock rose 7.29% after news broke that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months. That comes as good news to many shareholders who have seen the value of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s stock stagnate over the past few years. Although Ballmer was one of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s first employees and has undoubtedly been good for the company at times, it’s time for a new CEO and a new direction for the once largest company in the world.

The big losers

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) was easily the worst performing Dow component of the week, losing 15.21% of its value over the past five trading days. The stock traded lower for most of the week, but the big decline came on Thursday, following the company’s earnings report after Wednesday’s closing bell. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) reported weaker-than-expected results for the quarter, as nearly every business unit performed poorly. Even worse, CEO Meg Whitman told investors the company probably won’t see revenue growth in 2014. That’s the worst thing you can tell forward-looking markets, analysts, and investors.

For the second week in a row, The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) makes the list of the Dow’s worst performers, but while the company was the second worst Dow stock two weeks ago, it was only the third worst this past week. As interest rates continue to rise and the housing report this past week indicated that July saw a massive fall-off in new home sales — down from a revised June number of 455,000 to 394,000 in July, while analysts were expecting 485,000 after June’s initial number was 497,000 — shares of The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) didn’t really have a chance this week. With weakening home sales, rising interest rates, and retailers telling us that consumers are feeling the squeeze from higher taxes and gasoline prices, investors are losing faith in the home-improvement store.

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