The stock market barely moved in trading today, largely holding steady at record high levels. The Dow gained 15.38 points over the course of the day, closing at 18,224.57 on lower than average volume. The S&P 500 and NASDAQ both lost a little ground, with the S&P dropping -1.62 points to close at 2,113.86, while the NASDAQ dipped less than a point to 4,967.14. Most markets overseas were just as quiet, gaining or losing about a tenth of a percent. London’s FTSE fell -0.21% and finished trading at 6,935.38.
Hewlett-Packard Plunges On Missed Earnings, Layoffs. Computer and networking equipment manufacturer Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) saw share prices plunge by almost -10% today, on news that it will miss an earnings forecast and layoff almost 60,000 workers worldwide. Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) stock dropped by -3.82 points, setting in at 34.67 by the end of the day.
Energy Sector Falls -7% Despite Some Spotty Gains. It’s been a hard month for the energy sector, which has lead the market in losses day after day. Today was no different, with stocks sector-wide falling an average of -7.05%. Still, there were a few bright spots. Most notably in Newfield Exploration Corp (NFX), which saw 4.33 point gains on the day, closing at 36.00 per share. Vermillion Energy (VET) gained 1.66 points and ended trading at 43.99, Diamondback Energy Inc (FANG) jumped nearly a point to 74.99, and Cabot Oil and Gas Corp (COG) climbed 1.51 points to close the day’s trading at 29.91 per share.
General Electric Growing Despite Challenges. General Electric’s (GE) solid leadership and on-point growth strategy, despite being tough on employees, has lead to growth for the company despite economic challenges. Today, GE added 0.52 points, or 2.05%, to close the day at 25.91 per share.
Oil Spends February Bouncing Around $50. Oil was up slightly in trading today, gaining $1.71 per barrel to end trading at $50.99. This continues a month-long trend of depressed prices, hovering around $50, which are leading to massive bleeding across the energy sector.
Fast Food Serves As A Solid Leading Indicator For Consumer Confidence. One of the key places that consumers spend their money when they’re feeling positive about the economy is fast food. Recent trends have been pointing up for this segment of the market, and all of the major players are exceeding their profit forecasts. McDonald’s (MCD) saw a rise in share price of 3.68 points today, closing at 98.66. Yum! Brands (YUM), which manages popular restaurants like Taco Bell and KFC, also grew today. Yum! added 1.10 points over the course of trading and closed at 78.96 per share. Pizza delivery giant Domino’s (DPZ) also saw some growth, adding on 0.40 points, or 0.39%, to end the day trading at 103.93 per share.