* Weekly jobless claims 4-week average lowest since 2000
* July retail sales rise more-than-expected
* China says no basis for further depreciation of yuan
* Cisco up after strong results, boosts S&P, Nasdaq
* Dow down 0.06 pct, S&P down 0.09 pct, Nasdaq up 0.09 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
Aug 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed in late morning trading on Thursday as investors focus on the latest batch of strong U.S. economic data and digest China’s reassurance that there was no basis for further depreciation of the yuan.
U.S. retail sales rebounded in July, while the trend of weekly jobless pointed to a tightening job market, increasing the likelihood that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates as early as September.
Investors had pared back bets of a September rate hike after China devalued the yuan on Tuesday. But, economists still expect the Fed to raise rates as early as next month, according to a Reuters poll published on Thursday.
Though China said its strong economic fundamentals provided “strong support” for the yuan, sources told Reuters that some within the government were pushing for the yuan to go still lower.
“People are still worried about China because the country is so opaque and there are always questions regarding the official numbers,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The market is so used to the zero interest rate policy that a September rate hike is making some investors nervous, Forrest said.
At 11:38 a.m. ET (1538 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 10.76 points, or 0.06 percent, at 17,391.75. The S&P 500 was down 1.95 points, or 0.09 percent, at 2,084.1 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 4.64 points, or 0.09 percent, at 5,049.02.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower with the energy index’s 0.98 percent fall leading the decliners as oil prices pared earlier gains.
Cisco’s shares rose 4.2 percent to $29.09 after the network equipment maker’s profit beat expectations. The stock gave the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and the S&P.
News Corp rose 6.1 percent to $15 after the Wall Street Journal owner’s profit topped estimates, helped by cost cuts at its news business, including Dow Jones.
Tesla rose 2.3 percent to $243.95 after unveiling plans to raise about $500 million through a share sale, with CEO Elon Musk buying shares worth up to $20 million.
Kohl fell 9.7 percent to $55.53 after the department store operator reported lower-than-expected quarterly same-store sales.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,800 to 1,092. On the Nasdaq, 1,318 issues fell and 1,297 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week highs and five new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 54 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)