* Weekly jobless claims falls first time in a month
* June PPI comes in above expectations
* Target rises on higher quarterly sales forecast
* Indexes up: Dow 0.03 pct, S&P 0.04 pct, Nasdaq 0.03 pct
(Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Ankur Banerjee and Tanya Agrawal
July 13 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were little changed in late
morning trading on Thursday as a fall in healthcare and consumer
discretionary stocks capped gains, while investors turned their
attention to second-quarter earnings.
Amazon.com shares fell 0.7 percent and was among
the top three drags on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while a 0.8
percent drop in McDonald’s weighed on the Dow.
The healthcare index also took a hit with Johnson
and Johnson and Celgene weighing on the index.
Investors continued to keep an eye on Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen’s second day of testimony before Congress, a day
after she signaled a dovish stance on interest rates.
The U.S. economy is healthy enough for the Fed to raise
rates gradually and begin winding down its massive bond
portfolio, though low inflation and a low neutral rate may leave
the central bank with diminished leeway, Yellen said.
“Yesterday’s move was in response to Yellen comments that
should inflation remain below the 2 percent target rate, the
central bank will be less aggressive in their tightening
program,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA
“Today, the market is saying that’s old news and let’s focus
on the matter at hand, which is earnings that will be coming out
in earnest this week.”
Quarterly earnings kick off on Friday with big U.S. banks
including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and
Citigroup reporting results.
Second quarter earnings are expected to increase 7.9 percent
from a year ago, after first-quarter earnings posted their best
performance since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
At 11:01 a.m. ET (1501 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
Average was up 5.46 points, or 0.03 percent, at 21,537.6,
the S&P 500 was up 1.09 points, or 0.04 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.58 points, or 0.03
percent, at 6,262.75.
Data showed U.S. producer prices unexpectedly rose in June.
In the 12 months through June the producer level inflation, or
PPI, increased 2.0 percent, above the 1.9 percent rise expected.
Another set of data showed weekly jobless claims fell last
week for the first time in a month.
Among stocks, Target rose 3.4 percent after the
retailer gave an upbeat second-quarter forecast. The news
boosted other retailers, with Wal-Mart and Costco
rising about 1.3 percent.
Yandex jumped 15.3 percent after the company and
Uber agreed to combine their Russian ride-sharing businesses.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,492
to 1,264. On the Nasdaq, 1,722 issues fell and 919 advanced.
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee and Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru;
Editing by Arun Koyyur)