* April durable goods numbers soar
* Oil prices slip below $50 a barrel
* Abercrombie slumps after sales fall for 13th straight quarter
* Indexes down: Dow 0.23 pct, S&P 0.14 pct, Nasdaq 0.04 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Ankur Banerjee
May 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were trading slightly lower on Thursday, after a strong two-day run, as oil prices slipped below the psychologically important $50 a barrel.
Oil has rallied in recent weeks as wildfires in Canada and unrest in Nigeria and Libya knocked out nearly 4 million barrels per day of production.
“Oil prices fell off a little bit after the market opened and that is probably what is dragging the market down,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab.
Exxon and Chevron were down about 0.6 percent.
Data showed that while orders for U.S. durable goods surged in April, business spending plans continued to show weakness, suggesting the manufacturing rout was far from over.
Manufacturing, which accounts for 12 percent of the economy, is struggling with the lingering effects of the dollar’s past surge and sluggish overseas demand.
Investors are also watching out for a speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday.
Comments from policymakers in recent days and upbeat U.S. economic data have raised expectations that the Federal Reserve could pull the trigger on a rate increase much sooner than previously thought.
At 11:11 a.m. ET (1511 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 41.4 points, or 0.23 percent, at 17,810.11, the S&P 500 index was down 2.98 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,087.56 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 1.82 points, or 0.04 percent, at 4,893.07.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the materials index’s 0.93 percent fall leading the decliners.
Discount retailers Dollar General and Dollar Tree hit record highs after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profits.
Abercrombie & Fitch shares slumped 16 percent to $21.09 after posting its 13th straight quarter of sales decline, becoming another example of a depressed apparel market.
Costco Wholesale shares were up 6 percent at $153.18 after their quarterly earnings.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,545 to 1,305. On the Nasdaq, 1,480 issues fell and 1,101 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and 13 new lows. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru,; Additional reporting by Mamidipudi Soumithri; Editing by Anil D’Silva)