21 de mayo de 2015 / 16:13 / en 2 años

US STOCKS-Wall St higher as rate hike worries fade; S&P near record

* Jobless claims, factory data weaker-than expected

* April home resales unexpectedly decline

* Shake Shack hits record on trademark filing

* Salesforce up after first profit in seven quarters

* Indexes up: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct (Add details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was higher in late morning trading on Thursday, with the S&P 500 a whisker away from a record high, as a fresh batch of disappointing economic data bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve would not raise interest rates any time soon.

With the Dow and the S&P trading near record levels this week, trading volumes have been subdued as the quarterly earnings season draws to a close and a long holiday weekend nears.

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 jobless claims rose slightly more than expected last week, manufacturing sector growth slowed for a second straight month during May and home resales unexpectedly fell in April.

“I doubt we’ll see a rate hike this year,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“The market is weighed down by debt. It’s very difficult to see consumer spending ramp up substantially unless the debt levels fall.”

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.

At 11:42 a.m. ET (1542 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 13.51 points, or 0.07 percent, at 18,298.91 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 14.79 points, or 0.29 percent, at 5,086.54.

The S&P 500 was up 5.62 points, or 0.26 percent, at 2,131.47, just shy of its record high of 2,134.72 hit on Wednesday.

Eight of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the energy index rising 0.8 percent as oil prices rose for a second day.

Shake Shack rose as much as 8.6 percent to a record high of $90.05 after the hamburger chain filed an application to trademark “Chicken Shack” for chicken sandwiches.

Salesforce.com, the subject of takeover speculation for the past few weeks, rose 5 percent to $73.75 after posting a profit for the first time in seven quarters.

NetApp, the biggest drag on the S&P, fell as much as 12.5 percent to a 30-month low of $30.90 after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly results.

Lumber Liquidators plunged as much as 17.2 percent to a more than three-year low of $21.92 after the hardwood flooring retailer’s chief executive resigned unexpectedly.

CVS Health was up 3.1 percent at $104.46 after it said it would buy pharmacy service provider Omnicare for $10.1 billion. Omnicare shares rose 1.8 percent to $96.30.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,753 to 1,146, for a 1.53-to-1 ratio on the upside. On the Nasdaq, 1,296 issues rose and 1,272 fell for a 1.02-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 showed 16 new 52-week highs and two new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 62 new highs and 30 new lows. (Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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