US STOCKS-Wall St climbs to record after data; Jackson Hole ahead

jueves 21 de agosto de 2014 12:27 GYT

* Initial claims drop 14,000 from prior week

* Existing home sales hit 10-month high

* Family Dollar rejects Dollar General buyout offer

* Jackson Hole conference to begin

* Indexes: Dow up 0.41 pct, S&P up 0.22 pct, Nasdaq off 0.08 pct (Updates to midday)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks inched higher on Thursday and the S&P reached a record high, lifted by data pointing to steady improvement in the economy, as investors awaited the start of a meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Policymakers are due to discuss the labor markets of major economies at the Aug. 21-23 meeting, with U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen scheduled to speak Friday. Investors will peruse officials' remarks for clues on the timing of an interest rate hike.

A flurry of U.S. economic data, including a rise in home resales to a 10-month high and a decline in initial jobless claims, pointed to an economy that continues to slowly gain strength.   Continuación...