* Cisco shares up after Goldman adds to top list
* U.S. data supports modest economic growth
* Chinese data leaves door open for more stimulus
* Dow down 0.07, S&P up 0.06 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
By Anna Louie Sussman
NEW YORK, Aug 9 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 edged slightly
higher on Thursday, up for a fifth session, on
better-than-expected jobless claims and trade data in the United
States and hopes of further stimulus action from China's central
The Nasdaq outperformed the broader market, led higher by
Cisco Systems Inc after Goldman Sachs added the network
equipment maker's stock to its conviction buy list and Piper
Jaffray raised its Cisco rating to "overweight."
Cisco shares rose 3.2 percent to $17.71.
The indexes seesawed throughout the morning, with the S&P
500 mostly hovering above 1,400 in light trade. The benchmark
index was up 1 percent for the week.
"At the moment, we're just in a holding pattern. There are
no negative headlines out of Europe at the moment to spook the
markets, and maybe we're not going to have any for the month
since Europe is on hiatus for the month of August. It's not that
that headline risk is gone, but it seems to be gone for the
moment," said Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at
FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago.
The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 8.59 points,
or 0.07 percent, to 13,167.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
gained 0.83 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,403.05. The
Nasdaq Composite Index gained 5.68 points, or 0.19
percent, to 3,016.93.
The S&P 500, up for five weeks, has slowly and steadily
ticked upwards as investors bet central banks, including the
Federal Reserve, will soon act in support of a stalling global
A raft of weak Chinese economic data kept alive talk that
central banks will intervene to support the global economy.
Annual growth in factory output slowed to its lowest in more
than three years in July while annual consumer price inflation
hit a 30-month low, suggesting its central bank had room to
Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for
jobless benefits fell last week while the U.S. trade deficit in
June was the smallest in 1-1/2 years, hopeful signs for the
Beauty products maker Elizabeth Arden forecast 2013
profit above estimates on stronger sales and its shares jumped
8.5 percent to $42.27.
Nestle, the world's biggest food group, said
first-half results beat expectations and it expects pressure
from the high prices of basic foodstuffs to ease in the second
half of the year. Its shares, traded in Switzerland, rose 2.4
Shares of Robbins & Myers jumped 27.4 percent to
$59.60 after National Oilwell Varco said it will buy
Robbins & Myers for $2.54 billion in cash.
Beverage maker Monster saw its shares drop 8.4 percent to
$62.11 after its results missed estimates.
Of the 445 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
second-quarter earnings through Thursday morning, 68 percent
have reported earnings above analyst expectations, in line with
the average over the last four quarters.