* Oil jumps after air strikes on Yemen
* SanDisk tumbles after outlook cut, hits chipmakers
* Weekly jobless claims less than expected
* Indexes up: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.23 pct, Nasdaq 0.17 pct (Updates prices, changes comment, byline)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday, well off session lows as tech shares recovered, with the S&P 500 struggling to avoid a fourth straight daily decline.
Semiconductor stocks were under pressure for a fourth straight session as SanDisk tumbled 18.1 percent to $66.47 after cutting its revenue outlook.
The headwinds for SanDisk are company-specific according to King Lip, chief investment officer at Baker Avenue Asset Management in San Francisco.
“We would avoid but SanDisk but take the opportunity to buy other names that are down in sympathy,” he said about other semiconductor stocks. An index of chipmaker shares fell 0.8 percent, sharply paring losses of as much as 3.5 percent earlier.
“I don’t think this is the start of a big correction,” said Lip of the weakness so far this week, “more of a repositioning ahead of earnings.”
At 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average rose 24.82 points, or 0.14 percent, to 17,743.36, the S&P 500 gained 4.72 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,065.77 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.09 points, or 0.17 percent, to 4,884.61.
The S&P is down 2 percent so far this week as technology and biotechs sold off. The Nasdaq saw its biggest decline in nearly a year on Wednesday.
Energy stocks were only slightly higher despite a rally in crude prices following Saudi Arabia’s air strikes in Yemen.
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week while activity in the services sector hit a six-month high in March, underscoring the economy’s solid fundamentals despite a recent softening in growth.
Lululemon Athletica forecast earnings and revenue below expectations on Thursday, but its shares rose 7.4 percent to $65.48 after executives said the weak outlook was largely due to temporary West Coast port delays and currency factors.
Consulting and outsourcing company Accenture’s quarterly net revenue rose 5 percent, helped by growth in its outsourcing business as North American companies look to cut costs. Its shares rose 7.1 percent to $94.46.
Winnebago Industries fell after reporting a lower-than-expected quarterly profit as expenses rose. Shares tumbled 15.1 percent to $20.19.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,522 to 1,428, for a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,386 issues rose and 1,253 fell, for a 1.11-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 was posting 3 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 16 new highs and 42 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski)