The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) shed more than 15 points as of 11:35 a.m. EDT. Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO ) was up slightly to outperform its index, while tech stocks Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Himax (NASDAQ: HIMX ) were falling.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, indicated that there 4.01 million job openings in March, less than then 4.21 million that economists had anticipated.
The JOLTS reading isn't considered the most important measure of the U.S. labor market, but it is believed to correlate. A disappointing reading suggests that the labor market may not be as strong as economists had believed.
Cisco well positioned for SDN trend
On Thursday, UBS published a report on software-defined networking, a growing trend that appears poised to dominate the networking space. UBS believes Cisco is still strongly positioned in the space, concluding that it's Cisco's market to lose despite intense competition
UBS reiterated its buy rating on Cisco. Even in the worst-case scenario, UBS doesn't believe Cisco shares will fall below $20 per share.
Himax tumbles after earnings
Himax shares shed more than 11% early on Friday after the company reported first-quarter earnings per share of $0.09, $0.01 below analysts' consensus estimate. Revenue was $194.6 million, a tad bit more than the $194.2 million analysts had anticipated.
But what was most damaging was Himax's guidance. For the second quarter, Himax anticipates only slight revenue growth to $194.6 million. Analysts had been far more optimistic, expecting the company to generate $223.2 million.
Apple said to be near major acquisition
Apple shares were down nearly 1% after a number of media outlets reported that the company was in talks to acquire Beats Electronics, the maker of headphones and a streaming music service. If Apple acquires Beats at the rumored $3.2 billion valuation, it would be the tech giant's largest acquisition ever.
The rumored acquisition has generated some controversy. Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, for instance, wrote that he was "struggling to see the rationale." While Beats' headphones are sold in Apple's retail stores, and are widely regarded as a popular brand, audiophiles generally regard them as overpriced.
More interesting might be Beats' streaming music service, which competes with Spotify and Rdio. Apple's control of the music market has waned in recent months, as iTunes music sales have fallen. The rise of subscription-based streaming music services has widely been regarded as the reason for the lack of demand for digital music tracks.
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