This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week: Nov. 30

Stocks in this article: AAMRQ.PK HPQ BRK.B GRPN

1. Yet More HP Hysteria

Just when we thought we were out of Hewlett Packard's (HPQ) wacky world, they pull us back in!

You may remember that last week we featured an all-HP version of our Dumbest list on the heels of the company's $8.8 billion writedown of its Autonomy division. HP CEO Meg Whitman accused Autonomy of "serious accounting improprieties" prior to HP's $10.3 billion purchase last year, and as a result we stuffed our weekly countdown with two years of HP highlights, or, should we say, lowlights.

It was the first time we ever focused an entire column on a single company and we really thought we had seen the last of the troubled tech giant for a while. Seriously, how much dumb stuff can happen to a single company in a span of two years?

Alas, like Lindsay Lohan popping up on Page Six of the New York Post, HP seems determined to grace our Dumbest list with each and every step downward. Last week it was the writeoff itself. This week it's the escalating war of words between HP and Mike Lynch, the former chief executive officer of Autonomy Corp.

In a letter to news organizations, Lynch pressed HP's board for "immediate and specific explanations" of its claims, adding that "Autonomy's finances, during its years as a public company and including the time period in question, were handled in accordance with applicable regulations and accounting practices."

Oh man, or should we say, oh woman! He went right over Meg's head to the board with that challenge. We thought Mike would be lawyering up by now, but that just is not the case. Lynch does not think he's lynching himself at all by going public with his defense. Now that's moxie for you Meg!

Or utter insanity. We don't know yet.

HP, for its part, is not taking the bait. The company replied to Lynch's request Tuesday by saying it will take legal action against "parties involved" at the appropriate time.

"While Dr. Lynch is eager for a debate, we believe the legal process is the correct method in which to bring out the facts and take action on behalf of our shareholders," HP said in an emailed response. "In that setting, we look forward to hearing Dr. Lynch and other former Autonomy employees answer questions under penalty of perjury."

To be perfectly honest, we look forward to it too folks. We thought we could break the HP habit, but clearly we can't. This slow motion train wreck just keeps sucking us in. And as long as it does, you can count on us covering it.

-- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.
5 of 5

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,356.87 +288.00 1.69%
S&P 500 2,012.89 +40.15 2.04%
NASDAQ 4,644.3120 +96.4780 2.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs