June 18, 2020 / 3:55 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow muted as virus cases rise, jobless claims weigh

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* Weekly jobless claims higher than expected

* Carnival Corp falls after warning of annual loss

* Spotify rises on signing podcast deal with Warner Bros

* Indexes: Dow flat, S&P up 0.16%, Nasdaq rises 0.47% (Adds quote, details; updates prices)

By Medha Singh and Devik Jain

June 18 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow were largely unchanged on Thursday as investors stayed on the sidelines amid an uptick in coronavirus infections in parts of the United States and an elevated level of weekly jobless claims.

Several U.S. states including Texas, Florida and Oklahoma reported a surge in new infections. However, President Donald Trump said late on Wednesday the United States would not close businesses again.

The Labor Department’s report showed weekly jobless claims declining for the eleventh straight week, but the pace of declines has slowed as tepid demand and fractured supply chains have sparked a second wave of layoffs.

“Investors desperately want to be optimistic, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Katerina Simonetti, senior portfolio manager, UBS Private Wealth Management in Philadelphia.

“This market seems to be all about the short term - a lot of volatility, lots of fluctuations and extremely dependent on a number of (COVID-19) cases.”

A spike in coronavirus infections have threatened to upend bets of a swift economic recovery. The S&P 500 is now 8% below its February all-time high after coming within 5% of that level last week.

“When we look at valuations market is definitely ahead of itself, not only for this year but possibly even for next year,” Simonetti said.

At 11:18 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.98 points, or 0.01%, at 26,116.63, the S&P 500 was up 5.01 points, or 0.16%, at 3,118.50. The Nasdaq Composite was up 46.74 points, or 0.47%, at 9,957.27.

Technology was the biggest boost to the benchmark index. Real estate and utilities posted the steepest percentage declines.

Biogen Inc dropped 5.2% after a U.S. district court ruled in favor of generic drugmaker Mylan NV in a patent dispute over drugmaker’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera. Mylan NV rose 4.3%.

Spotify Technology SA jumped 10% after signing a podcast deal with AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros and DC entertainment featuring popular DC comics characters.

Carnival Corp slipped 1.2% after reporting a quarterly net loss of $4.4 billion and warning of a loss for the rest of the year as the pandemic brought its cruise business to an effective standstill.

Advancing issues nearly matched decliners on the NYSE and outperformed decliners by a 1.43-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded four new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 62 new highs and two new lows. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Arun Koyyur)

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