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US Markets Manage to Post a Winning Session

Close-up of Electronic Stock TickerUS, April 8, 2013 – Despite trading lower for most of the morning, the markets made an about-face around 2 p.m. ET, and the three major indexes all closed higher. The S&P 500 was the big winner of the day, after rising 9 points, or 0.63%, but the Nasdaqwasn’t far behind, as it increased 0.57% during the day. Lagging behind was the Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJINDICES: ^DJI) , which posted a gain of 48 points, or 0.33%, and now sits at 14,613.

The biggest Dow loser today was Johnson & Johnson(NYSE: JNJ) , as shares were cut by 1.13%, the direct result of a JPMorgan Chase downgrade. The analyst did, however, raise the price target from $77 per share to $83, while currently shares trade at $81.11. So why the lower rating? Valuation. The stock is one of the top-performing Dow components in 2013, as shares have risen 15.71% year to date.

Another health care-related stock falling today was UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH). After rising 8.5% this past week, and more than 5% the week before that, shares dropped 0.34% today. The decline is probably just a case of taking money off the table following the stock’s performance over the past two weeks. The stock still probably has some room to move higher, and it now seems Obamacare will help rather than hurt the company. In addition, the stock’s current price-to-earnings ratio is 11.72 and its future P/E is 10.35.

Two technology stocks are also moved lower today, despite what would seem to be positive news for shareholders.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) fell 0.18% today, even though the company launched a new line of servers this morning. Some industry experts are calling this HP’s biggest launch since 1989. The HP Moonshot 1500 System takes a very different approach to servers and has thus far received strong reviews.

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) lost 0.38% this afternoon, after the company announced that it was selling its IPTV unit to Ericsson. Microsoft’s IPTV business makes software that allows phone companies to deliver a television signal over the Internet. The terms of the sale and price weren’t disclosed, but Ove Anebygd, Ericsson’s vice president and head of TV, said it was more than $100 million, but less than $234 million. Microsoft’s shareholders are used to seeing the company make big purchases, not big sales, so this may have come as a surprise to many.

It’s been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who’ve watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. This article was written by Matt Thalman, and first published on fool.com.