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Stocks Sink on Economic Data With Hewlett Packard (HPQ) and Urban Outfitters (URBN) on the Move

May 17, 2011

At the halfway point… Stocks fell in early trading as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices crossed below their 50-day moving averages. At midday, the Dow is down 1.0%, the Nasdaq is down 0.7%, and the S&P is down 0.6%.

A downbeat forecast from computer giant Hewlett Packard (HPQ) helped pull down stocks, sparking worries that the tech sector could slow down in the middle of 2011. Investors also received some disappointing economic data today.

The Federal Reserve said industrial production was flat in April, while economists had forecast a 0.5% rise in production. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported new housing starts fell to a seasonally-adjusted 523,000, well below forecasts of 563,000. Strong industries today include Grocers and Regional Banks, while Automakers, Semiconductors, and Apparel & Accessories are weaker. Hewlett Packard is down 9%. KLA Tencor (KLAC) and MEMC Electronic Materials (WFR) are down 4%. Alcoa (AA) and Texas Instruments (TXN) are down 3%.

JPMorgan(JPM) and Research in Motion (RIMM) are up 2%. Urban Outfitters (URBN) is up 3%. The VIX is up 0.79 to 19.03 after opening at 18.54. Earlier today it hit a low of 17.85 and a high of 19.09. Options on United Technologies (UTX) have appeared on the most active list today, with over 34,000 contracts of the May 85 Call changing hands. The Put/Call Volume Ratio is at 1.06 (4,065,717/3,818,724) while the Put/Call Open Interest Ratio is at 0.95 (150,668,138/158,149,236). NYSE Adv/Dec 1,001/2,779. Nasdaq Adv/Dec 778/1,704. [InvestorsKeyhole, various news and data sources

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