Stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday following a pre-holiday flurry of economic data as Wall Street approached a fourth straight week of gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 2.65 points, or 0.02 percent, at 11,556.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 1.40 points, or 0.11 percent, at 1,257.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 3.83 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,667.65.

The reports were mostly in line with expectations, with jobless claims suggesting the unemployment rate will stay stubbornly high. But consumer spending rose for a fifth month and incomes edged up slightly more than forecast, and durable goods orders posted their largest increase since March.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)