by Marc Bastow | November 20, 2012 4:55 pm
The biggest cliff Tuesday wasn’t the fiscal one — it was the cliff Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) shares fell off after announcing an $8 billion writeoff on its investment in enterprise software technology company Autonomy.
HPQ said the company’s former management “used accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company” before Hewlett-Packard made the $10 billion acquisition in 2010, though former Autonomy chief Mike Lynch denied the claims.
Hewlett-Packard also reported better-than-expected earnings, albeit on a drop in sales, and HPQ shares dropped 12% to finish at a nearly two-decade low.
HPQ led the markets down in early morning trading, and after a brief rally into positive territory, the major indices again retreated when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke essentially scolded Congress to find a solution to the fiscal cliff during an address to the Economic Club of New York.
The markets finished mixed, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq up fractionally to 1,387.82 and 2,916.68, respectively, while the Dow Jones was down marginally to 12,788.51.
Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), seemingly trying to out-woe Hewlett-Packard, fell 13% to just below $12 — its lowest price since late 2000 — after announcing earnings and revenues that missed forecasts, and cutting its outlook for the remainder of the year.
Krispy Kreme (NYSE:KKD) jumped nearly 24% following better-than-expected results reported after the closing bell Monday. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) surged 7% before settling for a nearly 2% gain after the company announced the appointment of a new CEO, Brian Kelley, effective Dec. 3. GMCR also recently unveiled a new espresso machine to go up against Starbucks‘ (NASDAQ:SBUX) Verismo.
Visa (NYSE:V) set yet another all-time intraday high Tuesday before resting up fractionally, at an all-time closing high of $146.34.
Lastly, the Commerce Department reported that housing starts rose to their highest level in four years; however, housing permits declined to 866,000, less than the estimated 870,000.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvsestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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