US STOCKS-S&P 500 sets another record closing high on growth bets

jueves 29 de mayo de 2014 17:01 GYT

* Jobless claims fall more than expected; Q1 GDP revised lower

* Apple to buy Beats for $3 bln

* Hillshire jumps; Tyson's bid outshines Pilgrim's Pride's

* Dow up 0.4 pct; S&P 500 up 0.5 pct; Nasdaq up 0.5 pct (Updates to close)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, May 29 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index climbed to its third record closing high in four sessions on Thursday as traders shrugged off data that showed the economy shrank in the first quarter and bet on improvement in the second quarter.

New claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to a strengthening labor market and giving investors a reason to buy U.S. stocks. Data from the Commerce Department showed that gross domestic product contracted for the first time in three years in the first quarter, although signs indicated it has rebounded.

"The headline figure was weaker than expected, but it was mainly due to slower inventory growth, which bodes well for future growth, future orders, new orders," said Jeffrey Saut, chief investment strategist at Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The S&P 500 gained 10.25 points or 0.54 percent, to 1,920.03 - a record close and a lifetime intraday high.   Continuación...