The benchmark S&P 500 stock index posted a slim gain to end with a record closing high on Thursday, as a dour forecast from tech stalwart Cisco Systems was offset by a strong report from big box retailer Walmart. The Dow index ended barely negative, after posting a closing high on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq also ended fractionally lower.

Cisco shares tumbled 7.3 per cent after the network gear maker forecast second-quarter revenue and profit below expectations as increasing global economic uncertainties kept clients away from spending more on its routers and switches. Cisco’s share decline weighed the most on the major indexes and helped drag the technology sector down 0.1 per cent.

In contrast, Walmart raised its annual outlook, and the world’s largest retailer posted better-than-expected earnings, comparable sales and e-commerce growth in its largest market during the third quarter. Walmart shares fell 0.3 per cent after hitting a record high earlier in the session, but the S&P 500 retail and consumer discretionary indexes finished higher after the company’s report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.63 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 27,781.96, the S&P 500 gained 2.59 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 3,096.63 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.08 points, or 0.04 per cent, to 8,479.02.


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