US STOCKS-S&P nears all-time high, traders eye weak volume
* Jobless claims average shows resilient labor market
* Factory data and home resales weaker-than expected
* Investors wary of light volume
* Indexes up: Dow 0.05 pct, S&P 0.25 pct, Nasdaq 0.36 pct (Updates to midafternoon)
By Noel Randewich
May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday afternoon, with the S&P 500 just shy of its record high as disappointing economic data bolstered the view that an interest rate hike would come only later in the year.
Traders warned that below-average volume in recent sessions suggests that not all of Wall Street may be confident in the market's gains.
"It doesn't matter if we're at an all-time high if there are just two guys trading a stock back and forth," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. "It's something to be aware of."
As the quarterly earnings reporting season draws to a close, volume on U.S. stock markets has been below the month-to-date average for several sessions, according to BATS Global Markets. Continuación...