US STOCKS-Wall St flat after 2-day drop; factory orders due
* Initial jobless claims climb more than expected
* Factory orders data due
* AbbVie to buy Pharmacyclics for about $21 bln
* Costco climbs after results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.03 pct, Nasdaq 0.15 pct (Updates to market open)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday, in the wake of two days of declines on the S&P 500, as gains were curbed by a higher-than-expected initial jobless claims report ahead of a report on factory orders.
Initial jobless claims rose to 320,000 in the latest week, above the 295,000 estimate and 313,000 in the prior week. The disappointing claims numbers come after a weaker-than-expected private payrolls report on Wednesday and ahead of Friday's monthly employment report.
"That's a bit of an uptick because we've been pretty consistently in the upper 200,000 range," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois. Continuación...