HP sinks but US stocks end higher on firm data
NEW YORK (AFP) - Hewlett Packard (HP) shares plunged on Wednesday on concerns about the company's turnaround strategy but the markets overall closed higher, helped by firm reports on services sector growth and private hiring.
Investors dumped HP, the shares closing down 13.0 per cent at US$14.90 (S$18.31), after chief executive Meg Whitman said it would take time to turn around the company that built its fortune on printers and personal computers.
That performance weighed down the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average, which finished up 12.25 points (0.09 per cent) at 13,494.61.
The broad-based S&P 500 was stronger, gaining 5.24 points (0.36 per cent) at 1,450.99, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 15.19 (0.49 per cent) to 3,135.23 Market gains were underpinned by two positive data releases. The Institute for Supply Management's services industry Purchasing Manager's index (PMI) showed the crucial sector picking up pace, though hiring remained flat.