By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks on Thursday languished between minor gains and losses, with Hewlett-Packard Co. one of the few stocks rallying after the personal-computer company said it would cut about 8% of its workforce in coming years.
"The markets are focused on Europe, and Europe is in a wait-and-see mode to see how the Greek election falls, but that's not for another month, so we're in an information vacuum," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak.
"We had a big reversal yesterday, so the market is trying to take a breather to see if that was a head fake or a short-term bottom," add Boockvar of Wednesday's trade, which had stocks erasing nearly all of what had been steep declines late in the session.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 2.42 points to 12,499.57.
Shares of Dow component H-P (HPQ) rose 6.2% on its plan to lay off about 27,000 employees and after it reported quarterly sales and profit that beat expectations.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX) held flat at 1,318.84, with utilities the best performing and financials the worst among its 10 sectors.
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) dropped 5.04 points to 2,845.08.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) shares retreated nearly 9% after the luxury-jewelry retailer lowered its 2012 forecast for profit and sales, citing reduced demand domestically and from overseas.
U.S. economic reports had the government's count of those filing for jobless aid little changed last week. Another report had orders for durable goods up 0.2% in April.
Decliners just outpaced advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, where 150 million shares traded as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern.