NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks posted a mixed finish Thursday after tech gains helped offset some declines in the financial sector.

Weakness in JPMorgan Chase's ( JPM) investment banking business dragged down the financial sector, while reports of a decline in Chinese exports stoked worries about a global economic slowdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 41 points, or 0.4%, to close at 11,478. The S&P 500 shed 4 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 1204, while the Nasdaq gained 16 points, or 0.6%, to settle at 2620.

Light volume in recent trading has made many investors cautious about the recent rally in stocks that has the Dow up 5% so far for October, and more than 10% since hitting its 2011 intraday low of 10,362 on Oct 4.

Shares of Dow component JPMorgan Chase fell nearly 5% despite the bank delivering third-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share, topping Wall Street's consensus view by 11 cents. Revenue came in at $24.4 billion for the quarter, beating the average analysts' view but was down 11% compared to revenue for prior quarter.


The weak results dragged down other bank stocks with Bank of America ( BAC) losing 5.5% by the close, making it the worst performer in the Dow. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF ( XLF) shed 2.3% to $12.45.

Technology was one of the few sectors to advance Thursday with Intel ( INTC), Cisco Systems ( CSCO) and IBM ( IBM) among the Dow's top performers. Nineteen of the blue-chip index's 30 components finished lower.

Export growth in China slowed to its weakest pace in seven months in September. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade gap was unchanged even as its trade deficit with China rose to a record high.

Also in U.S. economic news, lackluster initial jobless claims continued to confirm a small improvements in the jobs market. The number of Americans filing unemployment claims came in at 404,000 for the week ended Oct. 8, down 1,000 from last week.

Despite the rally in the past week as Eurozone leaders signaled they are working to deliver on promises to stabilize the region, investors are still waiting for further details from a policy meeting on Oct. 23.

"Disappointment risk is still high and we require policies which tackle the underlying structural weaknesses along with the banking sector," says UBS analyst Chris Walker.

On Thursday, Slovakia agreed to contribute more to the European Financial Stability Facility, helping to expand the bailout fund to €440 billion ($604 billion) from €250 billion. The country is the last of the 17-member eurozone group to give expansion the green light, which came after political gridlock in the Slovak parliament earlier in the week threatened to delay the reform.

London's FTSE lost 0.7%, and Germany's DAX finished 1.3% lower. Overnight, Asian markets advanced. Japan's Nikkei Average closed 1% higher, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.3%.

RealMoney contributor Rev Shark called the recent trend in the market a "light-volume V-shaped bounce." "This one has been even more challenging than usual, as we become very quickly overbought and start hitting substantial overhead resistance," he wrote in a Thursday blog post.

Shares of Research In Motion ( RIMM) closed down 1.1% at $23.61 despite news that BlackBerry service has been fully restored. The company said that failure of a core switch in Europe and a back-up system malfunction led to the service outages that began Monday.

Akamai Technologies ( AKAM) jumped 4.8% to $24.49 following a late Wednesday report in Business Insider that named the company a potential acquisition target for Google ( GOOG).

AOL ( AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong has been meeting with top shareholders to push for a sale of the company to Yahoo! ( YHOO), according to a Reuters report. Yahoo's stock gained 1% at $15.93 while shares of AOL surged 6.5% to $14.01.

In the commodity markets, gold for December delivery lost $14.10 to settle at $1,668.50 an ounce. The November crude oil contract fell $1.34 to close at $84.23 a barrel. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 14/32, diluting the yield to 2.162%. The dollar index, a measure of the dollar's value against a basket of currencies, was about flat.

-- Written by Melinda Peer, Andrea Tse and Chao Deng in New York.