Top 3 Reasons Markets were Down with Hewlett-Packard

Markets closed down on Wall Street: DJI -0.54% SP500 -0.04% Nasdaq 0.03% Gold -0.46% Oil -0.32%.

Markets started the day down and climbed back for the most part. On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) dropped $0.23. Gold (NYSE:GLD) ended the day $6.90 lower, and Silver (NYSE:SLV) rose a tad after getting slaughtered over 4% yesterday. Is Silver a Bubble Bursting Now?

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Today’s markets were down because:

1) Hewlett-Packard announced early after a memo leak. As the market rally cools, investors are looking for any sign the weakening economic data will infect stocks. The news out of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) was no help. The tech bellwether was scheduled to announce tomorrow but dropped earnings today after a memo from CEO Léo Apotheker referenced trouble ahead. Investors were spooked and the stock lost over 7%. That won’t be music to John Paulson whose fund has been snatching up shares: “How You Can Invest Like John Paulson After His Latest 13F Filing

2) Economic data was weak. Waiting for housing to make everyone happy? You’ll have to wait for Case-Shiller because today the Commerce Department announced Housing Starts and Building Permits fell more than Wall Street expected. That kept homebuilders (NYSE:XHB) in a red place for the day. D.R. Horton Inc (NYSE:DHI), Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL), M.D.C. Holdings Inc (NYSE:MDC), KB Home (NYSE:KBH), and Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) all took the red bath. At least traders seemed to push Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE:HOV) over $2.40 and force a squeeze to $2.50 for a 4.58% gain.

3) Walmart made no promises about a rabid consumer. Remember last month when we said Walmart (NYSE:WMT) CEO Mike Duke knew more than Ben Bernanke about the weakening state of the American consumer? Today Walmart announced earnings and proved US consumers are getting fatigued (for now). At least international sales continue to pull their weight.

Bonus: Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) just reported earning and shares are up 4.9% after hours.

Now that you’re in the know, enjoy the NBA playoffs!