Cisco Sends Stocks Soaring

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) led a powerful stock market rally Thursday, as investors cheered signs that the economy may be coming back to life.

Cisco’s strong quarterly results and a drop in weekly jobless claims ahead of the government’s monthly unemployment report gave stocks their best day since July after two weeks of selling.

Cisco CEO John Chambers made his strongest comments yet that the economy and IT spending are beginning to recover, which helped investor confidence return.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) and DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) were other winners on their results, while Sanmina (NASDAQ: SANM) and Network Equipment (NASDAQ: NWK) were among the biggest gainers on U.S. stock exchanges, up around 30 percent each.

Smith Micro (NASDAQ: SMSI) and MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) fell on their earnings reports.

Micron (NYSE: MU) was a big winner in the rally, up nearly 8 percent.

After the close, Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) kept the good mood going, rising 5 percent on blow-out results.

The Nasdaq surged 49 to 2105, the S&P 500 gained 20 to 1066, and the Dow soared 203 to 10,005. Volume declined to 4.85 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.25 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 30-7 margin on the NYSE, and 21-6 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 86 percent on the NYSE, and 90 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 112-32 on the NYSE, and 51-25 on the Nasdaq.

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