US STOCKS-Wall St holds near record highs after mixed data
* Consumer spending dips; inflation below Fed's target, but rising
* Chicago PMI handily beats forecast
* Big Lots shares jump after results
* Dow off 0.1 pct; S&P 500 off 0.1 pct; Nasdaq down 0.5 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks hovered near the unchanged mark on Friday as mixed economic data gave investors little incentive to buy stocks on the last trading day of May.
The S&P 500 opened at an intraday record high, but further gains may be difficult to come by until next week, when payrolls data and a meeting at the European Central Bank will be the major catalysts.
U.S. consumer spending fell for the first time in a year in April after two months of solid gains, but the decline probably will not change expectations for a rebound in growth this quarter. An inflation gauge rose at its quickest pace since November 2012 while business activity in the U.S. Midwest rose in May at its strongest pace since October 2013.
"Very mixed signals, which prevents bears from getting aggressive and keeps bulls in place. It's effectively forestalled any real significant directional shift to what we've seen thus far," said Peter Kenny, chief executive officer of Clearpool Group in New York. Continuación...