Stocks were little changed on Thursday following a rise in weekly jobless claims that analysts said had been priced into shares.

The claims data, along with a weaker-than-expected reading on first-quarter economic growth, added to the view that demand was slowing globally.

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose in the latest week and remained at elevated levels. Gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter, unchanged from the previous estimate and down from analysts' expectations for more robust growth.

This data confirms the soft patch that everyone is concerned about, and even though claims data is choppy and impacted by weather, it seems like claims are trending in the wrong direction, said William Larkin, portfolio manager with Cabot Money Management in Salem, Massachusetts.

Larkin added that the data was priced into shares, and that stocks had hit a floor, or technical support, that would prevent further losses.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 26.23 points, or 0.21 percent, at 12,368.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.39 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,319.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 0.05 points at 2,761.33.

In a sign of rising concern about the economic outlook, Goldman Sachs lowered its year-end target for the S&P 500 index to 1,450 from 1,500, citing margin concerns. The lower target represents upside of almost 10 percent from current levels.

Hedge fund manager David Einhorn called for Steve Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft Corp , to step down. Shares of the Dow component rose 1.5 percent to $24.57.

Tiffany & Co shares rose 8 percent to $76.13 after the luxury retailer reported its first-quarter results and raised its outlook.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)