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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was rallying on Thursday, up 77 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow Jones component Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) was a notable underperformer, as tech stocks Pandora (NYSE: P ) and Renren (NYSE: RENN ) experienced notable sell-offs.
European bankers stay the course
Perhaps helping to fuel the Dow Jones' rally, European central bankers, including the ECB and the Bank of England, left interest rates unchanged early on Thursday. While this was in line with economists' expectations, a surprise rate increase could have sparked a market sell-off. Europe's ongoing economic struggles have occasionally spilled over into the U.S. stock market. With European policymakers continuing to support their economies, and by extension their stock markets, U.S. stocks are free to continue moving higher.
Intel's primary market continues to decline
One Dow Jones component not participating in the rally was Intel, whose shares slid 0.2% in Thursday's morning session. Earlier this week, research firm IDC said PC sales are likely to continue falling in the coming years, backtracking on comments it made just a few months earlier. IDC said it had expected the PC market to stabilize this year, with sales of traditional personal computers -- Intel's primary market -- hovering around 300 million. IDC no longer expects that to happen, instead forecasting a further decline both this year and going forward.
While Intel is attempting to break into mobile and wearable technologies, its business remains centered around the market for traditional desktop and laptop PCs.
Pandora drops as listeners turn elsewhere
Pandora shares slid more than 3% early in the session following new listener numbers. Pandora's listeners used the service less last month than they did in January, a bad sign for a company that is facing ever-growing competition. Moreover, Pandora announced that it would no longer disclose monthly listener metrics.
At the same time, one of Pandora's competitors, Spotify, announced that it had acquired The Echo Nest, a company that tracks listening habits and helps music streaming services serve up listening recommendations. In time, that could strengthen Spotify's offerings, and challenge Pandora's dominance in Internet radio.
Renren shares give back some gains
Renren shares were also 6.3% lower on the session, but unlike Pandora, there wasn't much news to explain the move. Rather, the drop may have simply been the stock giving back some of its recent gains. Even with Thursday's 6% sell-off, shares of Renren are still up better than 25% in the last three days. Unfortunately, there also hasn't been any major news specific to Renren to explain its recent surge.
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