Stocks Hang On to Snap Losing Streak


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks finished mixed on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 booking modest gains, but the Nasdaq unable to overcome Cisco's ( CSCO) deep decline.

Wall Street took a breather from the eurozone worries that have dented sentiment this week as Greece took steps to form a new government. The U.S. economic data also cooperated as weekly initial jobless claims held steady.

The Dow gained a mere 20 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 12,855. Still, the blue-chip index managed to snap a six-day losing streak, its longest since August 2011. Earlier in the session, the Dow traded as high as 12,932.

The S&P 500 tacked on 3 points, or 0.2%, to close at 1358. The index had dropped in five of the preceding six sessions and scraped a two-month low of 1343 in intraday action on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq lost a point at 2933.64.

Breadth within the Dow was positive with 19 of the index's 30 components finishing higher. The biggest percentage gainers among the blue chips included Chevron ( CVX), Home Depot ( HD), Pfizer ( PFE) and Travelers ( TRV).

Cisco, by far, was the worst performer within the Dow, losing more than 10%,after the networking giant forecast earnings of 44 to 46 cents a share for the July-ending quarter with year-over-year revenue growth anticipated at 2% to 5%. Analysts were calling for a profit of 49 cents a share in the fourth quarter on revenue of $11.99 billion, which implied 7% growth.

In the broader market, winners outpaced losers by a ratio of 1.9-to-1 ratio on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.4 to 1 on the Nasdaq. On a sector basis, technology and capital goods underperformed, while financials, conglomerates and basic materials gained.

Evan Nowack, managing director at HighTower's Leventhal Group, said that traders have been enjoying the volatility that's defining the markets of late.

"I think mostly this is the traders having fun," he said. "They want volatility; every day when the market goes up, goes up, goes up, there's not a lot of opportunity for these guys to play the short side, play the long side and move the market."

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