Sluggish Session on Wall Street

The falloff of market activity since Tuesday’s rally continued Thursday,
as traders seemed more inclined to wait until more players returned to the
markets after the New Year Holiday than wade through smaller volumes this
week.

In all, the data floating through the markets did little to boost
trading — even though the Nasdaq did have a strong finish. Jobless claims
fell by close to 5,000 for the week to 362,000, according to the Labor
Department. Although good news for the state of the economy, it was news
that didn’t inspire traders to rally.

The Nasdaq finished up 1.34 points to 2,178.34 and the S&P gained .10
to finish at 1,213.55. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 28.89 points to
close at 10800.30 on the day, thanks in part to a downgrade in the steel
sector.

Shares of optical equipment maker LightPath rose 14
cents to close at $4.50 after CEO Monty Allen said he would leave his post
for personal reasons. The company’s stock had shed about 6 cents in extended
trading.

Computer Sciences gained 20 cents to $56.46 on news it
gained $427 million in previously unannounced federal contracts.

Satellite radio company Sirius gained 10 cents to
close at $7.48, placing it among the most actives in the tech sector a week
after it announced it had crossed the million mark on subscribers. Microsoft
shed 14 cents to close at $26.76. Other movers were Cisco , which was up by
11 cents to $19.42. Marketing services company CMGI ,
which recently cleared its first operating profit, gained four pennies to
close at $2.64 Thursday.

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