US STOCKS-Wall St drops after recent gains, weak jobless data

(Repeats to widen distribution to more subscribers)

* Jobless claims fall slightly less than expected

* Cisco’s CEO cautious over economy

* Whole Foods’ stock rises after results, Sony down

* Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P off 0.3 pct, Nasdaq off 0.5 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to early afternoon)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, May 13 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) fell on Thursday,
following the best three-day run in 10 months as lackluster
jobless data underscored difficulties facing the labor market
and offset optimism after a multibillion-dollar tech deal.

The number of workers filing new applications for jobless
benefits fell by a less-than-expected 4,000 last week,
dropping to 444,000 while those continuing to receive benefits
unexpectedly rose. For details, see [ID:nN13129786]

“The labor market is improving, but based on recent
trends, you’d expect claims to be about 50,000 to 100,000
below where they are now, and certainly under 400,000,” said
Rob Stein, managing partner at Astor Asset Management in
Chicago.

Tech stocks stayed in focus after German software company
SAP AG (SAPG.DE: )(SAP.N: ) agreed to buy smaller U.S. rival
Sybase Inc (SY.N: ) for $5.8 billion. Sybase jumped 14.6 percent
to $64.34, while the U.S.-listed shares of SAP fell 0.3
percent to $44.76.

“This M&A activity is encouraging because it’s being done
on the merit of the deal, not simply because they have excess
borrowing power,” Stein said.

Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O: ) fell 4.6 percent to $25.52 a
day after its chief executive expressed caution about the
economy, even as quarterly results beat expectations. The
stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and the most
actively-traded stock on the Nasdaq. [ID:nN12195688]

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was down 16.47
points, or 0.15 percent, at 10,880.44. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) was down 3.46 points, or 0.30 percent, at
1,168.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was down 11.73
points, or 0.48 percent, at 2,413.29.

On the earnings front, Whole Foods Market Inc (WFMI.O: )
jumped 5.8 percent to $42.60, boosting consumer stocks after
its quarterly profit topped estimates and it raised its
full-year forecasts.[ID:nN12226813]

U.S.-listed shares of Sony Corp (SNE.N: ) fell 3.7 percent
to $32 after it forecast a full-year operating profit that was
below expectations. [ID:nTOE64B041]

Morgan Stanley (MS.N: ) (Read more about the money market today. ) rose 1.4 percent to $28.20 after FBR
Capital Markets upgraded the stock to “outperform,” expecting
it to gain market shares in its institutional trading
division. [ID:nSGE64C0FJ]

Elsewhere on the economic front, U.S. import prices rose a
touch more than expected in April as petroleum prices surged,
a government report showed, though a small gain in costs,
excluding petroleum, pointed to tame inflation pressure.

Trading was choppy, with declining stocks slightly
outnumbering advancing ones on the New York Stock Exchange. On
the Nasdaq, about three stocks fell for every two that rose.

Stock Market Basics

(Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-Wall St drops after recent gains, weak jobless data