US STOCKS-S&P, Dow little changed; Charter boosts Nasdaq
* Jobless claims rise to 263,000 last week vs est. 265,000
* Nonfarm payrolls data due on Friday
* Indexes up: Dow 0.08 pct, S&P 0.06 pct, Nasdaq 0.26 pct (Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Mamidipudi Soumithri
Sept 1 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow were little changed on Thursday morning as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of a set of economic data, including Friday's jobs report, while a rise in Charter Communications boosted the Nasdaq.
The stress on data has become especially apparent after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week that solid performance in the labor market has strengthened the case for an interest rate hike.
Investors will assess Friday's monthly nonfarm payrolls numbers to see whether robust hiring from June continued through August. A Reuters survey of economists shows about 180,000 jobs were likely added in the month.
While the markets seem to be getting comfortable with the prospects of higher rates, the biggest question on everybody's mind is the timing of the next increase.
A host of Fed officials have hinted that a rise could come as early as this month, but analysts have said the Fed would likely wait until December, given inflation rates running below its 2 percent target and the upcoming U.S. presidential elections in November. Continuación...