US STOCKS-Wall St ticks up after mixed data, Wal-Mart falls

jueves 20 de febrero de 2014 11:37 GYT

* Markit manufacturing data ahead of expectations

* Tesla shares soar after results, Wal-Mart falls

* Facebook shares drop; will buy WhatsApp for $19 bln

* Data from China weak, Ukraine turmoil continues

* Indexes up: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Feb 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher in volatile trading on Thursday, as a strong read on manufacturing offset weak results from Wal-Mart and geopolitical and economic uncertainty around the world.

Major indexes swung between slight gains and slight losses, indicating markets lacked direction a day after the S&P 500's biggest daily decline in more than two weeks.

U.S. factory activity accelerated at its fastest pace in nearly four years in February, according to Markit's preliminary U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, a bullish economic indicator following a string of weaker-than-expected reports.   Continuación...