Two tech giants continued to shine in the markets Wednesday: Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) shares jumped 9 percent, rising to their highest level in more than a year. The stock has now soared 121 percent over the past 12 months. The latest spark was a better-than-expected earnings report. And Apple (AAPL) may have broken out of its recent trading range. It gained another 2 percent and is now trading above $545 a share. Overall, trading volume was light as investors and traders hit the road ahead of the holiday. Of course, the market is closed on Thursday, and there's only a half-day of trading on Friday.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 24 points, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged up 4 -- both to new record highs -- and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) jumped 27 points, bolstered by two of the index's best performers this year.
Tesla (TSLA) rose 5 percent. It's well off its all-time high, but still up 290 percent from a year ago. And Biogen-Idec (BIIB) added 1.5 percent on investor optimism about its multiple sclerosis drug.
And as retailers wait for -- and hope for -- a shopper onslaught, some key players moved higher.
J.C. Penney (JCP) jumped more than 7 percent. It sees higher holiday sales. Macy's (M) and Target (TGT) both added about 1 percent, and Walmart (WMT) edged to an all-time high.
Also Moving Up:
- Sodastream (SODA) bubbled up by 3 percent after introducing pre-measured, single-use capsules for its make-your-own machines.
- Foster Wheeler gained 6 percent on reports the engineering firm is in talks to be acquired.
- And footwear maker Crocs (CROX) gained 2 percent. It's said to be in talks about an investment from a buyout firm.
On the Downside:
- Tivo (TIVO) lost 4 percent despite reporting sharply higher revenue and an increase in subscribers.
- Infoblox (BLOX) tumbled 29 percent as the maker of network automation technology posted a wider loss and issued a disappointing forecast.
- And several companies in the oil patch slipped as U.S. crude oil inventories rose more than expected. Newfield Exploration (NFX), Laredo Petroleum (LPI) and Noble Energy (NBL) all lost more than 4 percent.
What to Watch Thursday:
- U.S. financial markets are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- U.S. stock markets close at 1 p.m. Eastern time; bond markets at 2 p.m.