* Initial jobless claims fall in latest week
* Philly Fed tops expectations
* BlackBerry jumps after earnings
* Indexes off: Dow 0.03, S&P 0.05 pct, Nasdaq 0.15 pct
(Updates to open, adds quote)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, June 19 U.S. stocks were little
changed on Thursday, after four straight days of gains sent the
S&P 500 to a fresh record high, as economic data was not enough
to entice investors to push equities higher.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 6,000
to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, slightly below the 314,000
The benchmark S&P index is up 1.4 percent over the past four
sessions. It notched its biggest advance in nearly a month on
Wednesday after the Federal Reserve hinted at a slightly faster
pace of interest-rate increases starting next year, but
suggested rates in the long run would be lower than it had
"Data is pretty good but it's one of those things we have
been stuck in for a while, the data is going to continue to
muddle along," said Keith Bliss, senior vice-president at
Cuttone & Co in New York.
"Economic data is not going to be the catalyst or driver to
keep this market rallying to stratospheric heights because we
know it's going to be mediocre."
Factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region grew at a
faster pace than expected in June, as the Philadelphia Federal
Reserve Bank said its business activity index jumped to 17.8
from 15.4 in May, above the forecast for a reading of 14.
In addition, the private-sector Conference Board said on
Thursday its Leading Economic Index rose 0.5 percent last month
after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent increase in April, but
slightly below the 0.6 percent estimate.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5.76 points or
0.03 percent, to 16,900.86, the S&P 500 lost 0.89 points
or 0.05 percent, to 1,956.09 and the Nasdaq Composite
dropped 6.53 points or 0.15 percent, to 4,356.30.
U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry jumped 13.5
percent to $9.41 after the company's first-quarter loss was
smaller than expected.
Kroger Co, reported a better-than-expected quarterly
profit and raised its forecasts for full-year adjusted profit
and same-store sales growth, helped by its acquisition of grocer
Harris Teeter earlier this year. Shares of the biggest U.S.
supermarket operator rose 5.2 percent to $49.71 as the best
performer on the S&P 500.
Measurement Specialties Inc climbed 10.4 percent to
$86.11 after the company agreed to be acquired by Swiss-based
electronics company TE Connectivity for about $1.7
billion, including debt.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and