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