by Marc Bastow | May 10, 2012 5:05 pm
Markets managed to put European concerns and a faltering Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) on the sidelines today, and instead focused on a positive unemployment report to finish in the black — barely — after a six-day dip in the red.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.16% to close at 12,855, and the S&P 500 gained 0.25% to end up at 1,357. The Nasdaq slipped marginally to 2,933.
The number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell by 1,000 to 367,000 in the latest week. Although economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected the report to show 365,000 claims, the news was met with optimism about the unemployment picture.
The news was enough to counteract Cisco’s 10%-plus plunge following Wednesday’s after-the-bell report. The news dragged down a number of other tech names, including Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR, -5%), Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM, -3.5%), Red Hat (NYSE:RHT, -3.2%) and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL, -3%).
However, Sony (NYSE:SNE) — which reported a record-breaking loss and indicated they did not expect to see profitability until 2013 at the earliest — managed to scratch out 1% gains on the day.
Also Thursday, retailer Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) put out a mixed report. Earnings of 63 cents per share were down 23% from the year-ago period but beat expectations of 61 cents. Disappointing revenue guidance tipped the scales the sellers’ way, and KSS shares dropped 4%.
Perfume manufacturer Coty raised its initial unsolicited bid for Avon (NYSE:AVP) to $24.75 a share from its earlier offer of $23.25. Avon’s board said it would consider the offer, and AVP shares headed down 3.3%.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com.
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