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TECH STOCKS: Taking A Breather

The markets caught their breath after Wednesday's big gains while waiting for September's unemployment report.
The markets were in a lull Thursday, catching their breath after Wednesday's big gains and gearing up for what could be a critical September employment report due out Friday. All of our stock indexes closed up slightly after vacillating between positive and negative territory all day.

Traders remain skittish about the strength of the nation's economic recovery. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that factory orders fell 0.8% in August, a surprise to economists who had been predicting a smaller decline of 0.5%. And the number of people filing new unemployment claims last week increased to 399,000--up from 386,000 the previous week.

Oracle's stock was down 29 cents, or 2.5%, to $11.40 following published reports that the Justice Department is preparing an antitrust challenge to the vendor's proposed $7.3 billion takeover bid of PeopleSoft. But Advanced Micro Devices' share price rose 52 cents, or 4.7%, to $11.69 after J.P. Morgan upgraded its stock. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock closed at $33.20, up 5 cents or 0.2%. The tracking stock's trading volume was moderate, with just under 82 million shares changing hands.

Our InformationWeek 100 rose 1.14 points or 0.4% to close at 278.78, while the Nasdaq index rose 3.94 or 0.2% to finish the day at 1,836.19. The Dow rose 18.60 points, or 0.2%, to close at 9,487.80, while the S&P 500 rose 2.02 or 0.2%, to finish the day at 1,020.24.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer