PLAYING DEFENSE: Stocks rose Thursday, but the best performers were lower-risk stocks like utilities, banks and health care companies. It may be a sign that investors are becoming more cautious.
CISCO SINKS: Cisco Systems dropped $2.63, or 11 percent, to $21.36 after the telecommunications equipment maker predicted a sharp drop in sales. Cisco's performance is widely regarded as a bellwether for the technology industry because company cuts a broad swath, selling routers, switches, software and services to corporate customers and government agencies.
THE NUMBERS: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 54.59 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,876.22, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index added 8.62 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,790.62. The Nasdaq composite edged up 7.16 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,972.74.