Stocks Rally Despite Cisco’s Tough Quarter

Stocks rallied Thursday despite a difficult outlook from Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), as traders snapped up stocks on hopes for economic stimulus and bank rescue plans.

Stocks started the day sharply lower on Cisco’s comments that the economy slowed even further last month, but they recovered all their losses and then some by late morning on reports that a bank rescue plan will be announced on Monday and on optimism that Congress can pass an economic stimulus bill.

The tech sector and even Cisco ended the day with solid gains, as traders hoped that the economic and financial plans could help an economy suffering through its worst downturn since 1982. The gains came despite news that weekly jobless claims spiked above 600,000, and a day ahead of a government report that’s expected to show a loss of more than 500,000 jobs last month.

Cisco rose 3% on the day, and Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) ended the day 9% higher.

But Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and HP (NYSE: HPQ), both of which will report earnings later this month, ended the day lower. Dell got hit by a JP Morgan downgrade.

Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) continued to rally in the wake of better than expected results, up 10%.

Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM), BMC (NYSE: BMC), Shutterfly (NASDAQ: SFLY) and ON Semi (NASDAQ: ONNN) surged on their earnings news.

Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML) rose 7% on its results and reports that it may sell its ASIC business.

The Nasdaq surged 31 to 1546, the S&P 500 gained 13 to 845, and the Dow rose 106 to 8063. Volume rose to 7.58 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.57 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 24-13 margin on the NYSE, and 18-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 73% on the NYSE, and 83% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 9-151 on the NYSE, and 3-137 on the Nasdaq.

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