21 de mayo de 2015 / 14:23 / hace 2 años

US STOCKS-Wall St shrugs off weak data to inch higher

* Jobless claims, factory data weaker-than expected

* April home resales unexpectedly decline

* Lumber Liquidators plunges after CEO resigns

* CVS up on $10.1 bln Omnicare deal

* Indexes up: Dow 0.02 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks moved higher in morning trading on Thursday as investors shrugged of fresh batch of weaker-than-expected data, which came a day after the Federal Reserve all but ruled out an interest rate hike in June.

The central bank's officials believed it would be premature to raise rates next month even though most felt the economy was set to rebound from a dismal start to the year, according to minutes from their April policy meeting.

However, data on Thursday showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, while growth in the manufacturing sector slowed for a second straight month during May.

That was followed by data that showed home resales unexpectedly fell in April as tight inventories pushed prices higher.

Still, the underlying trend in last week's jobless claims suggested the jobs market was strengthening despite a sluggish economy.

"There is a malaise in the market as investors re-adjust their expectations of a Fed hike," said Andrew Barber, chief market strategist at Eagleview Capital in Delaware.

"The consensus is probably for a tightening in September, though an increasing number of people think there will be no hike in 2015 as economic data remains weak."

At 10:13 a.m. ET (1413 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 4.51 points, or 0.02 percent, at 18,289.91, the S&P 500 was up 2.76 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,128.61 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.37 points, or 0.15 percent, at 5,079.12.

Eight of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the energy index rising 0.7 percent as oil prices rose for a second day.

The Fed has kept interest rates at near zero for almost a decade, which has made funds cheaper and helped the stock market reach record highs.

The S&P 500 hit a record intraday high on Wednesday. The Dow, which had closed at record highs in the previous two sessions, was also briefly on track for another all-time high close.

Salesforce.com shares rose 5.4 percent to $73.98 trading after the cloud software company, the subject of takeover speculation for the past few weeks, reported a profit for the first time in seven quarters. [ID:nL3N0YB57D

Lumber Liquidators shares plunged 14.8 percent to $21.55 after the hardwood flooring retailer's chief executive resigned unexpectedly.

NetApp fell 11.8 percent to $31.15 after the data storage equipment maker reported lower-than-expected quarterly results and cut about 500 jobs.

Best Buy jumped 5.2 percent to $35.54 after the consumer electronics chain reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and sales.

CVS Health was up 2.8 percent at $104.14 after it said it would buy pharmacy service provider Omnicare for $10.1 billion. Omnicare shares rose 1.3 percent to $95.92.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,685 to 1,112, for a 1.52-to-1 ratio on the upside. On the Nasdaq, 1,213 issues rose and 1,189 fell for a 1.02-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 showed nine new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 38 new highs and 18 new lows. (Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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