Cisco Pulls Technology Stocks Lower

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Cisco Systems Inc. headquarters in San Jose. (AP Photo)

Cisco Systems Inc. headquarters in San Jose. (AP Photo)

SAN JOSE (CBS / AP) — Stocks finished flat on Thursday, dragged down by Cisco Systems Inc.

The San Jose-based company issued a weak earnings forecast, raising concerns about business and technology spending.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended an eight-day winning streak, entirely a result of Cisco’s 14 percent drop. Other indexes managed slight gains.

Cisco, the world’s largest networking equipment maker, had the largest fall of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow.

The company said late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter income slid 18 percent because of lower sales to government agencies, a problem that could worsen over the next few quarters.

“Cisco is stumbling,” said Rob Lutts, president and chief investment officer of Cabot Money Management. “When you’re No. 1, it’s hard to stay there.”

Lutts said the weak results reflect Cisco’s struggle to stay competitive, not necessarily weakness in the technology industry overall.

The Dow lost 10 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 12,229. The S&P 500 rose a point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,321. The Nasdaq composite also rose a point to 2,790.

Rising stocks narrowly outpaced declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated trading volume was 4.2 billion shares.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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