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Stock Indexes Drift On Miniscule Volumes

The petroleum bubble burst, but prices still declined.

It's the dog days of summer on Wall Street. Investors were not in a buying mood Thursday, and most indexes fell on very light trading. Semiconductor-industry stocks were among the hardest hit. The losses came despite slipping oil prices, which have been a major influence on the stock market in recent weeks.

The InformationWeek 100 index fell 1.68 points, or nearly 0.6%, to close at 281.8, while the Nasdaq composite fell 7.8 points, or more than 0.4%, to 1,852.92. The Dow fell 7.82 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 10,173.92, and the S&P 500 managed to eke out an increase of 0.17 of a point, or less than 0.1%, to finish the day at 1,105.13.

Advanced Micro Devices fell more than 3%, to $11.82 after brokerage Banc of America Securities cut its rating on the chipmaker to "neutral" from "buy" as part of a more downbeat report on the semiconductor sector. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock closed at $34.53, down 2 cents, or less than 0.1%, on very sluggish trading volume of less than 50 million shares.

The news also wasn't good on the employment front. The Labor Department says the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims last week inched up to 343,000 from an upwardly revised 333,000 new claims the week before. Economists had expected around 338,000 new claims to be filed.

See the full listing of all the companies in the InformationWeek 100 and the top 5 percentage winners and losers for the last closing here.

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