US STOCKS-Wall St flat as mixed data provides scant incentives
* Fourth-quarter GDP growth revised downward
* J.C. Penney tumbles after earnings
* Indexes: Dow off 0.09 pct, S&P up 0.03 pct, Nasdaq off 0.05 pct (Updates to market open)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday, as a mixed batch of economic data provided investors with little incentive to push equities to new records.
Data continues to point to a slowly improving U.S. economy. U.S. growth slowed more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter but the underlying fundamentals remained solid, while a gauge of business activity in the U.S. Midwest dropped to its lowest reading since July 2009 in February.
However, pending home sales rose to their highest level in 1-1/2 years in January and the University of Michigan's final February reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment slipped from an 11-year high but topped expectations.
"You are in a place where the U.S. economy is a little softer, at least the data we are getting. I would argue it is still on solid footing, it is just we are in a bit of an ebb and the market is kind of ebbing with it a little bit," said Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Wealth Management in Philadelphia.
The Dow and Nasdaq were on track for a fourth straight week of gains, while the S&P was flat for the week. The Dow and S&P 500 are near record highs and the Nasdaq is within striking distance of the 5,000 level. Continuación...