* Tech shares may rebound after Cisco results
* Fiscal cliff, Europe could drive trading
* Abercrombie, Staples rally on strong earnings
* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on
Wednesday, lifted by strong earnings from technology bellwether
Cisco, but equities struggled to hold onto solid gains after a
series of weak sessions.
The S&P 500 has fallen 3.8 percent over the previous five
trading days, with most of the losses driven by uncertainty over
the looming U.S. "fiscal cliff" and concerns about Europe's
economic troubles. Trading has been volatile, with positive
momentum difficult to sustain.
The index closed below its 200-day moving average for a
fourth day in a row on Tuesday, a technical indicator that
suggests recent declines could gain momentum.
"We're rebounding a bit today, thanks to the good news from
Cisco, but the key will be whether we can hold or if we fade
going into the close like we did yesterday," said Paul Nolte,
managing director at Dearborn Partners in Chicago. "If we can't
hold these gains, the tenor of the market will remain negative."
Dow component Cisco Systems Inc reported
first-quarter earnings and revenue late Tuesday that beat
expectations, sending the stock leaping 7 percent to $18.04.
Technology shares were the strongest on the day, up 0.7
The technology sector has been weak lately, dropping almost
10 percent over the past two months on earnings disappointments
from Google and others. It was the worst-performing
sector on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 7.14 points,
or 0.06 percent, at 12,763.32. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 2.90 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,377.43. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 13.32 points, or 0.46
percent, at 2,897.21.
Also in earnings news, Abercrombie & Fitch Co soared
30 percent to $40.82 after reporting a steep rise in its
quarterly profit and a full-year forecast that beat analysts'
estimates. Staples Inc rose 4.4 percent to $11.75 after
posting earnings that beat expectations.
Abercrombie, Cisco and Staples made up the top three
percentage gainers on the S&P 500. Still, broader trading will
likely be partially dictated by macroeconomic issues as
investors grapple with the impact of Europe's debt crisis and
the U.S. fiscal cliff - a series of large, mandated tax hikes
and spending cuts that start to take effect next year.
Analysts say serious fiscal negotiations are still weeks
away, but that the failure to reach a deal in Congress could tip
the world's largest economy into recession.
Retail sales fell 0.3 percent in October, hurt by the impact
of a recent devastating storm in the U.S. northeast. The drop
was slightly more than expected but stocks barely reacted to the
data. Producer prices fell 0.2 percent in October, compared with
expectations for a 0.2 percent rise.
European shares fell 0.4 percent as Greece's
unresolved crisis raised questions about the region's potential
for economic growth, while anti-austerity strikes across
southern Europe added to concerns that fiscal reforms would be
politically difficult to implement.