* S&P unable to break through milestone for 14th session
* BlackBerry reports quarterly profit; shares up
* Cyprus reopens banks under tight restrictions
* Indexes: Dow up 0.2 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq flat
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index hit resistance again on Thursday near its record closing high, unable to break through that milestone for the 14th session.
While the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been hitting new highs for the past few weeks, attempts by the S&P 500 to break past its record closing has been unsuccessful, prompting investors to think there may be a higher chance of a sharper pullback.
At the same time, buyers continue to move in on any signs of weakness, which has enabled the benchmark index to quickly erase declines and trade within 10 points of its all-time closing peak for the past 14 sessions.
“This suggests that there is a lot of money being run on technicals and there is this nervousness about the market being at all-time high. Less and less money is being run on fundamentals,” said Jack DeGan, chief investment officer of Harbor Advisory.
“Fundamentally, the economy is improving and we are getting good earnings. I think soon or later we will move above this level to hit a all-time high.”
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 25.76 points, or 0.18 percent, at 14,551.92. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 1.24 points, or 0.08 percent, at 1,564.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.20 points, or 0.04 percent, at 3,257.72.
U.S. stocks were set to close out a strong quarter with the S&P 500 up nearly 10 percent for the first quarter, the Dow up 11 percent and the Nasdaq up 8 percent. Thursday is the U.S. stock markets’ last trading day of the quarter as Friday is Good Friday holiday.
Data showed the economy expanded at a sluggish pace of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter although a big gain in business investment and higher exports of services led the government to push up its previous estimate for growth.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but probably not enough to suggest the labor market recovery was taking a step back.
Cypriots lined up calmly at banks despite tight controls imposed on transactions at Cyprus’s banks after the government was forced to accept a stringent EU rescue package to avert bankruptcy.
BlackBerry announced an unexpected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, driven by demand for its new touchscreen device which holds the key to a successful turnaround for the smartphone maker. U.S.-listed shares were up 2 percent at $14.86.
Chesapeake Energy Corp’s search for a new chief executive to replace Aubrey McClendon is likely to extend beyond an April 1 deadline, according to a person familiar with the situation. The stock was off 0.9 percent at $20.36.
Influential proxy advisory firm ISS threw its weight behind opponents of MetroPCS Communications Inc’s proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, saying the deal undervalued the company and shareholders should vote against it. MetroPCS shares were up 2.2 percent at $10.76.
A federal judge on Wednesday said JPMorgan Chase & Co must face a lawsuit by a pension plan that accused it of mismanaging its money by investing in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc notes before that bank filed for bankruptcy in 2008. JPMorgan’s stock fell 0.7 percent to $47.45.