* Trading expected to be light ahead of holiday
* Indexes on track for fourth straight week of gains
* Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment both top forecasts
* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.1 pct
(Updates to market open, adds economic data)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 29 U.S. stocks were slightly lower
on Friday, with investors finding few reasons to extend a
long-running rally, even as the latest economic data joined the
trend of better-than-expected reports on the economy.
A note of caution entered the market as Britain raised its
international terrorism threat level to the second highest level
in response to possible attacks being planned in Syria and Iraq.
Still, major U.S. indexes remained on track for
their fourth straight week of gains.
Stocks have been strong of late, with investors taking any
opportunity to buy on dips. However, this week's trading volume
has been among the lightest of the year, with action especially
muted on Friday, ahead of the Labor Day holiday in the United
States for which markets will be closed on Monday.
"Typically after the market goes up this much this quickly,
you'd expect some kind of pullback, but we've become conditioned
to buy on dips. That's almost ingrained in the market," said
Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial in
Newark, New Jersey.
The Britain threat level "doesn't sound good, but unless
there's definite news that's worse than things we've already
seen recently, the market should be able to process it and move
on," Krosby said.
In the latest economic data, the pace of business activity
in the U.S. Midwest rebounded more than expected in August,
signaling a pickup in that region's economy.
Separately, U.S. consumer sentiment rose more than expected,
according to the final August reading from the Thomson
Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40.05 points or
0.23 percent, to 17,039.52, the S&P 500 lost 2.03 points
or 0.1 percent, to 1,994.71 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 3.75 points or 0.08 percent, to 4,553.95.
For the week, the Dow is up 0.2 percent, the S&P is up 0.3
percent and the Nasdaq is up 0.4 percent, the fourth straight
week of gains for all three. For the month of August, the Dow is
up 2.9 percent, S&P is up 3.3 percent and the Nasdaq is up 4.3
percent. Both the Dow and S&P have climbed in six of the past
U.S. shares of AstraZeneca rose 1.9 percent
to $75.68 on news the company had moved its immuno-oncology
medicine MEDI-4736 into a mid-stage study in colorectal cancer.
Splunk Inc jumped 15 percent to $51.89 a day after
posting strong revenue growth and raising its full-year sales
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli)