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Stock Market Story: Tech Rallies Despite Cisco

Tickers in this article: BA CSCO DIA QQQ S SLW SPY

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock markets rallied into the close Thursday, absent of any negative geopolitical headlines, and as economic prospects continued to look brighter and brighter for many investors. 

The S&P 500 rose 0.43% to 1,955.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.37% to 16,713.58. The Nasdaq advanced 0.43% to 4,453. The tech sector finished in the green despite the heavily-weighted fallout from Cisco's downsizing plans.

After a strong run-up for four sessions, the S&P 500 looks like it could bump against the short-term support/resistance area of 1,950, according to Schaeffer's Investment Research's senior equity analyst Joe Bell. But the analyst said weekly and daily charts are not signaling any overbought conditions.

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"I expect that continued, sustained strong economic data will make itself evident that the Fed needs to step aside," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. Cote's expecting strong August retail sales on the back of a robust back-to-school shopping season amid signs of fewer layoffs and increasing wealth in the U.S.

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The markets began the day with a knee-jerk reaction to the gain in initial jobless claims last week. But the losses were short-lived in light of the very marginal increase of the four-week moving average to 295,750, a level consistent with low levels of layoffs.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to offer some conciliatory remarks to Western counterparts Thursday after saying overnight that he would do everything in his power to end the conflict in Ukraine. Meanwhile the Gaza ceasefire remained in force after Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to a five-day extension of the truce in the region.

Cisco tumbled 2.62% to $24.54 after the networking hardware company said it will cut 6,000 jobs due to uncertainty over emerging markets. Sprint was down 1.89% to $5.71 after analysts who met with the telecom’s new CEO Marcelo Claure said the company may soon aggressively cut its wireless prices. Silver Wheaton fell 5% to $25.82 after missing analysts’ estimates in the second quarter due to low silver prices.

Boeing was up 1.75% to $124.11 as the company prepares to announce plans this fall to increase production of its single-aisle 737 jet.

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--By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse