US STOCKS-Wall Street edges lower as jobless claims unexpectedly rise


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    * Weekly jobless claims hit two-month high
    * Biogen up on raising full-year revenue forecast
    * Southwest Airlines leads declines among carriers
    * Indexes down: Dow 0.21%, S&P 0.16%, Nasdaq 0.05%

 (Adds comment, details; updates prices to early afternoon)
    By Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal
    July 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes edged lower
on Thursday after an unexpected rise in weekly jobless claims
cooled a rally in economy-linked cyclical stocks, while gains in
megacap growth firms kept declines at bay.
    Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits increased by 51,000 to a seasonally
adjusted 419,000 in the week ended July 17, hitting a two-month
high. The report also showed more people returning to work, a
positive trend for July's employment data.*:nL1N2OX1Y5
    "One data point isn't a trend, and a one-off can probably be
chalked up to Delta variant concerns. If jobs data doesn't
inflect soon, the markets and the Fed will be put on notice,"
said Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer at Cornerstone
    Investors have been closely following the health of the jobs
market on which the Federal Reserve's monetary policy hinges,
especially after a series of higher inflation reading recently
sparked fears about a sooner-than expected paring of policy
support as the economy reopens.
    A shift in attention to corporate earnings and the so-called
value stocks have helped Wall Street recoup most of its declines
from earlier in the week that were triggered by concerns about
the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.
    The S&P 500 energy sector  .SPNY  fell 1.5% after rising in
the last two sessions, while technology  .SPLRCI  was the
biggest gainer among the 11 major sector indexes.
    Apple Inc  AAPL.O ,  AMZN.O , Facebook Inc
 FB.O , Google-owner Alphabet Inc  GOOGL.O  and Microsoft Corp
 MSFT.O  rose ahead of their quarterly results next week.
    "The market is trying to understand how economic growth will
decelerate going forward ... we're going to still see energy,
financials, industrials doing very well in the medium term, but
the more secular growth winners will continue to drive the
market for the future," said Omar Aguilar, chief investment
officer of passive equity and multi-asset strategies for Charles
Schwab Investment Management.
    Second-quarter earnings are expected to grow 76.5%% for S&P
500 companies, according to Refinitiv IBES estimates. So far,
88.5% of the 104 companies in the benchmark index  .SPX  that
reported results for the quarter beat profit expectations, the
highest since 1994.
    Drugmaker Biogen Inc  BIIB.O  gained 1.3% on raising its
full-year revenue expectations, while Domino's Pizza Inc  DPZ.N 
jumped 13.0% to a record high on upbeat quarterly results.*:nL4N2OY21O*:nL4N2OY24W
    Southwest Airlines Co  LUV.N  fell 4.2% after it posted a
bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, pushing the S&P 1500
Airlines index  .SPCOMAIR  down 2.2%.*:nL4N2OX385
    American Airlines Group Inc  AAL.O  reported a quarterly
profit, but its shares fell 2.1%.*:nL4N2OY1XB
     At 12:23 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI 
was down 72.23 points, or 0.21%, at 34,725.77, the S&P 500
 .SPX  was down 7.04 points, or 0.16%, at 4,351.65 and the
Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  was down 7.64 points, or 0.05%, at
    Texas Instruments Inc  TXN.O  fell 5.0% on a downbeat
current-quarter revenue forecast amid concerns about the
chipmaker's ability to meet searing demand in the face of a
global shortage.*:nL4N2OX3CJ 
    Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.45-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and 2.46-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded 36 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 36 new lows.

 (Reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru;
Editing by Maju Samuel)
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