* Putin strikes conciliatory tone
* Berkshire shares rise above $200,000
* Jobless claims rose more than expected in latest week
* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct and Nasdaq up 0.3 pct
(Updates to afternoon trading)
By Akane Otani
NEW YORK, Aug 14 U.S. stocks rose modestly on
Thursday after conciliatory comments from Russian President
Vladimir Putin helped ease concerns about escalation in Ukraine
and offset some uninspiring earnings reports.
Putin said Russia would stand up for itself but not at the
cost of confrontation with the outside world, striking a
conciliatory tone after months of tough rhetoric aimed at
The market had been pressured in recent weeks by uncertainty
over the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the nation's largest retailer,
met expectations for revenue and earnings but lowered its
forecast for coming quarters. Shares of the Dow component were
up 0.4 percent to $74.36.
Cisco Systems Inc fell 2.3 percent to $24.62. The
company, also a Dow component, gave a tepid outlook Wednesday
for its current quarter and announced massive job cuts even as
revenue beat expectations.
Shares of Boeing Co were up 1.8 percent to $124.20,
the Dow's biggest gainer. The company said it was seeing very
strong demand for commercial jetliners and signaled it is
getting close to deciding whether to further accelerate output.
The market shrugged off U.S. jobless claims that rose more
than expected last week. Initial claims for
state unemployment benefits rose 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted
311,000, but economists say that, overall, the labor market is
continuing to improve.
"I wouldn't look at any one data point and get too concerned
about it," said Gary Flam, portfolio manager at Bel Air
Investment Advisors in Los Angeles.
The Dow Jones industrial average is rising 51.31
points, or 0.31 percent, to 16,703.11, the S&P 500 is up
7.38 points, or 0.38 percent, to 1,954.1 and the Nasdaq
Composite is adding 15.06 points, or 0.34 percent, to
Berkshire Hathaway Inc's share price on Thursday
crossed $200,000 for the first time, the latest milestone for
the company that Warren Buffett built over nearly five decades.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers had its worst trading day
since November 2006. The burger chain reported quarterly
earnings and revenue sharply below expectations. Shares tumbled
20.4 percent to $51.39.
The chief executive of NewLink Genetics Corp, which
licensed an Ebola vaccine developed by Canadian government
scientists, late Wednesday told Reuters it had enough doses to
launch the first human safety trial of an Ebola vaccine this
summer. Shares jumped 12.4 percent to $26.36.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)