The Department of Labor's jobless-claims report was released this morning, and it wasn't what investors were hoping for. Economists were expecting 350,000 claims last week, but the report indicated that the number was actually 385,000, which is 28,000 claims higher than the previous week. The 385,000 claims also represented the highest number of first-time claims in nearly four months.
But despite that dour data point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is clinging to a 12-point gain as of 12:55 p.m. EDT. The S&P 500 is up 0.12%, and the NASDAQ is performing worst, having lost 0.15%.
The Dow's biggest loser today is IBM (NYSE: IBM ) , down 0.9%. And because Big Blue is the Dow's most heavily weighted stock, its downward pressure is having a large effect on the blue-chip index. My Fool colleague Jessica Alling noted this morning that the company has been attempting to downplay an independent study indicating that Oracle's new chips and servers outperformed those produced by IBM. The company has long been seen as the top dog in the server realm, but it may now be losing some of its luster.
Another big technology Dow component losing today is Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO ) . Investors have cut the share price by 0.19% just a day after Cisco announced that it would be purchasing the mobile connectivity company Ubiquisys. The privately held company provides technology which allows users to seamlessly connect across mobile networks. The $310 million purchase of Ubiquisys will allow Cisco to offer increased cellular data capacity in a more cost-effective way. To learn more about Cisco's purchase and how it will help the company move one step ahead of the competition, click here.
Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) have fallen 0.44% thus far today. The decline comes after a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock from a "buy" to "neutral". The analyst making the call noted that the Windows product cycle has not performed as well as some had expected and that the company's stock buyback program has failed to give the share price a boost.
It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.