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Dow stock index slips after eight-day winning streak

February 10, 2011 |  3:22 pm

The Dow Jones industrial average ended its winning streak on Thursday, closing fractionally lower after rising for eight straight sessions.

But the broader market was mixed, as many investors still seem reluctant to take profits in this year’s strong rally.

The Dow slipped 10.60 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 12,229.29. It had gained 416 points, or 3.5%, over the previous eight sessions.

The 30-stock Dow was hurt by computer networking giant Cisco Systems, which plunged $3.12, or 14%, to $18.92 after reporting that its quarterly profit margins narrowed because of higher spending on research and development.

But buyers pushed up stocks of other Dow index companies expected to benefit if the economic recovery continues, including Caterpillar, United Technologies and Du Pont.

U.S. stocks have gained this year from optimism about the domestic economy’s prospects, which has encouraged some investors to sell bonds in favor of stocks.

Wall Street also is winning as some investors shift away from emerging-market stocks because of Egypt’s turmoil and because of inflation concerns in countries including China and India.

The Dow is up 5.6% this year while the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index exchange-traded fund is down 5.4%.

-- Tom Petruno