* Tiffany shares slide after earnings estimates
* Nokia ADRs rally after results
* Indexes: Dow flat; S&P up 0.2 pct; Nasdaq off 0.1 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Jan 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks inched higher on
Thursday, helped by stronger-than-expected exports in China, the
world's second-biggest economy, but gains were capped as the S&P
500 hovered near a 5-year high.
Financial and telecommunications stocks were the day's top
gainers, while the material sector was the biggest drag. The S&P
500 material sector index was off 0.3 percent. The
financial sector index rose 0.6 percent and the telecom
sector was up 0.5 percent.
The benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index was near a
five-year closing high of 1,466.47. On Friday, the index had
ended at the highest close since December 2007.
"The market is technically right at the level of resistance,
near 1,465-1,467. A solid breakthrough above the level would be
the start of a next leg higher, but it looks like it is going to
be difficult to break above that level for now," said Randy
Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives
at Charles Schwab. He cited concerns about the earnings season
and upcoming debt ceiling talks.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 9.84 points,
or 0.07 percent, at 13,400.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 2.55 points, or 0.17 percent, at 1,463.57. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was down 2.01 points, or 0.06
percent, at 3,103.80.
In company news, shares of upscale jeweler Tiffany
dropped 3.6 percent to $60.98 after it said earnings for the
year through Jan. 31 will be at the lower end of its forecast.
U.S.-traded Nokia shares jumped 17.3 percent to
$4.40 after the Finnish handset maker said its fourth-quarter
results were better than expected and that the mobile phone
business achieved underlying profitability.
Herbalife Ltd stepped up its defense against
activist investor Bill Ackman, stressing it was a legitimate
company with a mission to improve nutrition and help public
health. The stock was up 1.4 percent to $40.47.
Data showed China's export growth rebounded sharply to a
seven-month high in December, a strong finish to the year after
seven straight quarters of slowdown, even as demand from Europe
and the United States remained subdued.
In the U.S., claims for unemployment benefits rose last
week, though seasonal volatility made it difficult to get a
clear picture of the labor market's health.
Also, U.S. wholesale inventories rose more than expected in
November and sales rose by the most in more than 1-1/2 years.
The market's reaction to both reports was muted.