US STOCKS-Wall Street edges up in choppy trade; BlackBerry slumps

Reuters

* Twitter boosts top end of price range for IPO

* BlackBerry shares fall after company abandons sale,replaces CEO

* Indexes up: Dow 0.2 pct; S&P 0.4 pct; Nasdaq 0.4 pct

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended higher onMonday in light trading volume as investors were reluctant tomake big bets with S&P 500 index just below the all-time closinghigh.

The day's lackluster activity was partly due to the Dow andS&P 500 indexes' four consecutive week of gains. Investors werealso awaiting the all-important non-farm payrolls report dueFriday for further clues on when the Federal Reserve may beginto start tapering its stimulus.

Among individual stocks, U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry ended down 16.4 percent to $6.50 after hitting a52-week low of $6.40. The smartphone maker said it wasabandoning a plan to sell itself. With Monday's drop, the stockis at levels unseen since October 2003.

Twitter , meanwhile, raised the upperend of the projected price range for its initial public offeringlater in the week, an encouraging sign for the social mediacompany.

The otherwise quiet start to the week follows a week ofrecord highs for U.S. stocks. It remains to be seen whether themarket can push higher, with much dependent on the steps theFederal Reserve will take in the months ahead in response toeconomic data. The Fed's massive bond purchases have helped propup the economy and the equity market for much of the year.

"The rebound in the U.S. stock market in late October pushedthe S&P 500 index up to a 24 percent gain since the start of theyear. As a result, we believe this is probably a good time forinvestors to rebalance their portfolios which may now haveequity holdings exceeding their recommended allocations," saidGary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors inNew York.

"We remain longer-term positive on U.S equities but wouldrecommend taking some profits in stocks at this time."

The benchmark S&P index has risen 4.3 percent overthe past four weeks as the partial U.S. government shutdown inOctober pushed back expectations for the Fed to begin curtailingits stimulus into the first quarter of next year.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 23.57 points,or 0.15 percent, at 15,639.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 6.29 points, or 0.36 percent, at 1,767.93. TheNasdaq Composite Index was up 14.55 points, or 0.37percent, at 3,936.59.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBCtelevision the Fed should not rush a decision to scale back itsasset purchases because of low inflation.

Recent manufacturing data have been stronger than expected,lending weight to the argument that the economy may be sturdyenough to handle an earlier-than-expected reduction in thecentral bank's bond-buying program.

All key S&P sectors were higher, led by telecoms and energystocks. The S&P energy index rose 1.3 percent and thetelecoms sector index gained 0.8 percent.

In earnings, Kellogg Co advanced 0.7 percent to $62.72after the cereal maker reported a 3 percent rise in quarterlyprofit, and said it would slash 7 percent of its workforce by2017.

With about 75 percent of S&P 500 companies having reportedresults so far, 69 percent have topped Wall Street'sexpectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent. Just 53percent have topped revenue forecasts, below the 61 percentaverage since 2002, Thomson Reuters data showed.

Volume totaled about 5.1 billion shares traded on the NewYork Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, below theaverage daily closing volume of about 6.2 billion this year.

On the New York Stock Exchange, around two stocks fell forevery five that rose, while on the Nasdaq, advancing stocks beatdeclining ones by a ratio of 3 to 2.

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