FINANCIAL WARNING: Hewlett-Packard Co. says it will take a massive charge against its earnings for the just-ended quarter, leading to a record loss of nearly $9 billion.

WHAT HAPPENED: The charge is the result of a writedown of the value of its services business, reflecting that the company overpaid when it bought Electronic Data Systems in 2008 for $13 billion.

THE BACKDROP: In the past 15 years, HP has only posted one quarterly loss. The charge comes as new CEO Meg Whitman is trying to turn HP around. The company's main businesses, PCs, services and printers, are stagnant or shrinking.