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TECH STOCKS: How's The Trading? Ruff

The InformationWeek 100 and Nasdaq indexes were basically flat--the Nasdaq's half-point drop was its fifth straight losing day.
Forget the bears and the bulls, the dog days of summer are in control on Wall Street. Thursday, the InformationWeek 100 and Nasdaq indexes were basically flat--the Nasdaq's half-point drop was its fifth straight losing day--while the Dow managed to gain nearly 65 points. The lackluster performance came despite positive news on productivity and unemployment and reports of solid growth by retailers.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that second-quarter productivity rose 5.7%, surprising traders who were expecting gains of about 4%. The drop in last week's jobless claims, to 390,000, also surprised market watchers. And big retailers, including Wall-Mart, Target, and Best Buy, all reported higher sales in July.

Hewlett-Packard took one of the day's biggest hits, falling 58 cents, or more than 3%, after Goldman Sachs lowered its expectations for the company's third-quarter earnings. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock (QQQ) closed at $30.29, up about 10 cents, or 0.32%. The stock's trading volume was relatively sluggish, with just over 64 million shares exchanging hands.

Our InformationWeek 100 index fell 0.19 points, or 0.08%, to close at 245.88, while the Nasdaq index fell 0.47 points, or 0.03%, to 1,652.21. The Dow rose 64.71 points, or 0.7%, to 9,126.45, while the S&P 500 rose 7.04 points, or 0.73%, to finish the day at 974.12.