* PC shares slide after firm says PC sales plummeted in Q1
* Microsoft shares tumble after Goldman Sachs' ratings cut
* Jobless claims fall more than expected
* Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P up 0.4 pct, Nasdaq up 0.02 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on
Thursday, with the Dow and the S&P 500 climbing to fresh
all-time intraday highs in late morning trade after data showed
jobless claims dropped more than expected.
Nevertheless, technology stocks were the day's
underperformers, with tech blue chips such as Microsoft and
Hewlett-Packard sharply lower after an industry report that
showed shipments of personal computers had fallen significantly
in the first quarter. Microsoft was also hit after Goldman Sachs
cut its rating on the stock to "sell" from "neutral."
"It's not a good day for technology stocks, but overall, we
are in a strong market," said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at
Schaeffer's Investment Research, in Cincinnati.
"It's encouraging to see how the market starts off weak on a
bit of natural profit taking, and then market participants
instantly bid the market higher."
Boeing Co shares jumped 1.7 percent to $89.29, after
hitting a 52-week high at $89.45, and ranked as the Dow's
Providing relief to the market that was rattled last Friday
by a much weaker-than-expected non-farm payrolls report,
Thursday's data showed initial claims for state unemployment
benefits fell much more than expected last week.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 56.02 points,
or 0.38 percent, at 14,859.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 5.85 points, or 0.37 percent, at 1,593.58. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up just 0.50 of a point, or
0.02 percent, at 3,297.75.
The Dow reached a record intraday high at around 11:21 a.m.,
rising as high as 14,882.53. The S&P 500 quickly followed suit,
touching an all-time intraday high of 1,597.35 at 11:27 a.m.
On Wednesday, both the Dow and the S&P 500 had climbed more
than 1 percent to close at new record highs after three straight
days of gains.
A leading tech tracking firm said personal computer sales
plunged 14 percent in the first three months of the year, the
biggest decline in two decades of keeping records, in a report
released after Wednesday's closing bell.
Hewlett-Packard fell 6.1 percent to $20.96,
Microsoft shed 4.9 percent to $28.79 and Intel
lost 2.3 percent to $21.75 to rank among the biggest drags on
both the Dow and the S&P 500. The S&P information technology
sector index slipped 0.5 percent.
Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc surged 52
percent to $12.12, off a 52-week high at $12.24, after the
drugmaker said data from an initial late-stage trial would be
sufficient to file for approval for its experimental
antipsychotic drug for Parkinson's disease patients. Acadia said
it would not need to conduct an additional trial as it had
Other economic data showed import prices slipped 0.5 percent
last month, in line with expectations, while export prices fell
0.4 percent, signaling inflation pressure remained tepid and
would allow the Federal Reserve to continue with its current