The U.S. stock market erased morning gains to trade negative for the day, despite declining unemployment claims, better than expected sales from retailers, and Greece's successful auction of its 10-year bonds. 

Worse than expected U.S. pending home sales report prompted a retreat, however.

The S&P 500 Index is down 0.07 percent, or 0.76 points, to trade at 1,118.03 at 10:56 am EST.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.04 percent, or 4.46 points, to trade at 10,401.22.  The Nasdaq Composite is down 0.14 percent as tech stocks lag.

For the first time in three weeks, U.S. unemployment claims declined, dropping 29,000 to 469,000.  The lowest decline of non-farm private payrolls in two years was also reported on Wednesday, according to ADP's calculations.

U.S. retailers reported encouraging sales data.   According to Thomson Reuters, 14 of 17 firms beat Wall Street expectations for same-store sales.

Macy's (NYSE:M), up 0.35 percent, saw its same-store sales increase 3.7 percent.  Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), up 10.43 percent, saw its same-stores sales increase 5 percent.

Greece's 10-year bond sale drew strong demand Thursday.  The debt sale of 5 billion euros drew 14.5 billion in bids.

Investors are relieved that the Greek government is able to raise funds from the market, although Greece pays a heavy price for them as the yields of Thursday's bonds are higher than those of existing ones.

Wall Street firms are trading up, with Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) gaining 2.55 percent and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) gaining 2.33 percent.  Their U.K. counterparts are also up, with American Depository Receipts (ADRs) Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) gaining 4.77 percent and those of Barclays (NYSE:BCS) gaining 2.29 percent.

Pending home sales, reported at 10:00 am, declined 7.6 percent in January despite the extension of the home buyer tax credit.  Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a 1 percent gain.

The report partially blamed the heavy snow for the disappointing data.

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