U.S. stocks were little changed on Thursday as an upbeat profit forecast from United Parcel Service pushed up transportation shares, offsetting concerns about a rise in weekly jobless claims.

Worries that debt-plagued Greece was ready to use an emergency bailout package added to the bearish sentiment.

Economic bellwether UPS climbed 6 percent to $69.32 after the package delivery company said first-quarter earnings would be much higher than expected and raised its full-year outlook.

New U.S. jobless claims soared unexpectedly last week due to applications delayed by the Easter holiday.

Today's (jobless claims) were ... disappointing, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.

Ghriskey added that earnings have been very strong so far. It's a long list of companies that have positively surprised above expectations, and companies are also beginning to lift outlooks.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 15.72 points, or 0.14 percent, at 11,107.39. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 1.65 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,209.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 3.33 points, or 0.13 percent, at 2,508.19.

Retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc fell nearly 1 percent to $54.16 and was among the top drags on the Dow Jones industrial average.

The Dow Jones Transportation index <.DJT> rose 1.6 percent with UPS rival FedEx Corp up 2.4 percent at $96.23.

The International Monetary Fund said it is sending a team to Athens for talks about possible IMF assistance under a multi-year program. The euro dropped broadly as concerns about Greece's debt woes resurfaced.

Shares of Google Inc , which is due to report after the close, helped lift the Nasdaq. Google added nearly 1 percent at $594.36.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)