Updated from 4:04 p.m. EDTTech stocks led the markets higher Thursday amid a dip in oil prices and the season's last major barrage of second-quarter earnings reports, as investors searched for signs that the recent selloff had reached bottom. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 12.17 points, or 0.12%, to 10,129.24; the S&P 500 gained 5.01 points, or 0.46%, to 1100.43; and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.80 points, or 1.23%, to 1881.06. The 10-year Treasury note was trading up 2/32 in price to yield 4.57, while the dollar was higher against the yen and euro. Volume stayed moderate, with over 1.5 billion shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange and almost 1.7 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers roughly doubled decliners on both exchanges. "It's too early to say for sure, but the market is showing definite technical signs of being oversold and readying for a rally," said Richard McCabe, chief market analyst with Merrill Lynch. He predicted the indices will eventually move back up to the higher end of their range for the year in choppy trading. In New York, oil futures for September delivery closed down 15 cents, or 0.3%, lower at $42.75 a barrel. The easing reflected a minor cooling in the situation in Russia, where the country's largest oil company, Yukos, is involved in a high-stakes tax battle with the government. On Wednesday, oil futures hit an all-time high of $43.05 a barrel. On the economic front, the government reported that growth in employment costs cooled in the second quarter, rising by 0.9% compared with 1.1% in the first quarter. Also, initial jobless claims rose more than expected in the week ended July 24, adding 4,000 claims to 345,000 from an upwardly revised 341,000 reported for the previous week. Also, the fourth and final day of the Democratic Convention commenced in Boston, potentially giving investors their most definitive reading yet on Sen. John Kerry's chances in his bid to unseat the incumbent, President Bush. Kerry will make the most important speech of his life Thursday night and lay out his case to the American people. His prospects for victory depend on the perceptions that will come from the performance.