* Facebook to offer 70 mln shares, stock drops
* U.S. jobless claims near 9-month high, home resales slide
* Philly Fed's factory activity index inches up in December
* Target cyber breach hits 40 mln payment cards; stock falls
* Dow flat, S&P 500 down 0.2 pct, Nasdaq off 0.4 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, a
day after the Dow and the S&P 500 indexes closed at record highs
as investors digested a mixed bag of economic reports.
The three major U.S. stock indexes extended losses to hit
session lows following a batch of data that sent mixed signals
on the economy - the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest in nearly
nine months and home resales fell to the lowest in nearly a
year, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's index of
factory activity rose slightly in December.
"The market is adjusting after the rally yesterday. It's
been a strong year, and I wouldn't be surprised if investors
closed out their year today or tomorrow since there isn't much
room or news to move higher from here until next year," said
Doug Foreman, co-chief investment officer of Kayne Anderson
Rudnick Investment Management.
The Fed's decision Wednesday to trim its monthly bond
purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion beginning in January was
accompanied by a dovish indication of rock-bottom interest rates
for the foreseeable future. That combination enticed buyers and
helped the Dow and the S&P 500 score their largest gains in two
"I was surprised by the Fed's decision and delighted with
the market's response," said Jack Ablin, chief investment
officer of BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
The SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund trust also
blew through the enormous call open interest at the 180 strike
on Tuesday. The exchange-traded fund was down 0.1 percent at
The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.67 of a
point, or unchanged on a percentage basis, to 16,167.3. The S&P
500 slipped 2.91 points or 0.16 percent, to 1,807.74. The
Nasdaq Composite dropped 14.333 points or 0.35 percent,
Facebook fell 2.5 percent to $54.17 after the social
network company announced the offering of 70 million shares,
including more than 41 million shares from Chief Executive
Officer Mark Zuckerberg worth about $2.3 billion. Zuckerberg's
sale, partly to pay a tax bill, will reduce his voting power to
56.1 percent from 58.8 percent.
Target Corp said hackers might have stolen data from
some 40 million credit and debit cards of shoppers who visited
its stores during the first three weeks of the holiday season in
the second-largest such breach reported by a U.S. retailer.
The stock slid 2.2 percent to $62.18.
Oracle shares jumped 4.7 percent to $36.22 a day
after the No. 2 software maker's better-than-expected results
and quarterly revenue outlook raised hopes that it's on track to
Dish is considering a bid for T-Mobile US
next year, according to people close to the matter, in what
would be the satellite TV provider's second attempt at acquiring
a major wireless operator. Dish shares rose 1.3 percent to
$56.03, while T-Mobile shares shot up 6 percent to $28.89.
Darden Restaurants said it would sell or spin off
its Red Lobster business, buckling under pressure from activist
investor Barington Capital Group after reporting another quarter
of sliding profits. Darden shares dropped 4.8 percent to $50.37.