* Three of the Dow's five top gainers reach 52-week highs
* Jobless claims fall more than expected
* PC shares slide after firm says PC sales plummeted in Q1
* Dow up 0.5 pct, S&P 500 up 0.5 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday,
with the Dow and the S&P 500 climbing to fresh all-time intraday
highs after data showed jobless claims dropped more than
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."
Among the blue chips, three of the Dow's five biggest
gainers - Pfizer Inc, Boeing Co and Home Depot
Inc - hit new 52-week highs.
Before the opening bell, Labor Department data showed
initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell much more
than expected last week - giving relief to investors who were
rattled last Friday by a much weaker-than-expected non-farm
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 77.63 points,
or 0.52 percent, at 14,879.87 - off an all-time intraday high of
14,887.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.98
points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,595.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index
was up 4.75 points, or 0.14 percent, at 3,302.00.
The Dow had reached a record intraday high at around 11:21
a.m. in Thursday's session, and extended that to a fresh record
by early afternoon. The S&P 500 quickly followed the Dow's lead
in late morning trading, climbing to an all-time intraday high
of 1,597.35 at around 11:29 a.m.
On Wednesday, both the Dow and the S&P 500 rose more than 1
percent to close at new record highs after three straight days
The Dow got its biggest boost from Pfizer, up 2.6
percent at $30.70, off its fresh 52-week high at $30.82, after
JPMorgan raised its target price on the U.S. drugmaker's stock
to $33 from $32.
A selloff in the tech sector, though, curbed the Nasdaq's
advance and weighed on the broad market.
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 6.8 percent to $20.81,
Microsoft shed 4.9 percent to $28.79 and Intel
lost 2.8 percent to $21.64 to rank among the biggest drags on
both the Dow and the S&P 500. The S&P information technology
sector index slipped 0.6 percent.
Shares of Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc surged 57.3
percent to $12.54, off a 52-week high at $12.68, 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.
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