US STOCKS-Wall St flat as gains from jobless data fade

* US data still shows weak hiring by employers

* World’s central bankers converge on Jackson Hole

* 3PAR accepts raised bid from Dell

* Dow flat, S&P, Nasdaq down 0.1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to midday; changes byline)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) erased gains,
turning little changed on Thursday as a modest improvement seen
in a jobs data was not enough to keep markets up.

Weekly jobless claims declined more than expected last
week, briefly sending stocks higher, but the four-week average
of new claims, a measure regarded as better reflecting labor
market trends, rose to a nine-month high, offsetting the
enthusiasm. For details, see [ID:nN26186848]

Healthcare and consumer staple shares were the biggest
losers among the S&P 500 sectors. On the blue-chip Dow, Kraft
Foods (KFT.N: ) was among the biggest biggest percentage
decliners, falling 1 percent to $29.27.

“We want more people to be finding jobs, and the claims
data is a good sign for that, but this isn’t something you can
stick your hat on and think everything is better. We’d like to
see additional hiring in the private sector,” said Anthony
Halpin, investment adviser at Chicago Partners Investment Group
LLC in Chicago.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) was down 6.36
points, or 0.06 percent, at 10,053.70. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) was up 0.27 point, or 0.03 percent, at
1,055.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was down 2.61
points, or 0.12 percent, at 2,138.93.

Major indexes are off about 6.5 percent from their Aug. 9
high because investors have grown concerned about the sharp
slowdown in the economy or some fear a double-dip recession as
data showed growth deteriorating in various sectors.

Reflecting those concerns about the economy, the percentage
of individual investors who expect stocks to rise in coming
months fell to the lowest level since March 2009.

The American Association of Individual Investors’
measurement of stock market sentiment showed the day’s Bull
reading was at 20.7, down from 30.1 last week and at the lowest
level since March 2009 when it was 18.9. Bears, however, rose 7
points on the week to 49.5. In March of 2009, Bears hit 70.3.

In merger news, data storage company 3PAR Inc (PAR.N: )
accepted a sweetened bid from Dell Inc (DELL.O: ), trumping a bid
from Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ).

Shares of Dell rose 0.6 percent to $11.86 and HP, a Dow
component, was up 0.3 percent at $38.35. [ID:nN26185803] 3PAR
shares dipped 2.5 percent to $26.07.

Investors will be watching developments at Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, where central bankers from around the world have
converged to assess the darkening economic outlook.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in a speech on Friday
is likely to discuss the uncertain prospects for the economy
but isn’t expected to give many clues about whether the U.S.
central bank will pump more cash into the economy to keep the
recovery going. [ID:nN25199098].
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Wall St flat as gains from jobless data fade