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US STOCKS-Wall St flat, Blackberry slumps; Twitter raises IPO range
November 4, 2013 / 7:08 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St flat, Blackberry slumps; Twitter raises IPO range

* Twitter boosts top end of price range for IPO

* BlackBerry shares fall after company abandons sale, replaces CEO

* Indexes up: S&P 0.2 pct, Dow 0.01 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct

By Luke Swiderski

NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Monday in below-average trading volume, while shares of Blackberry plummeted to a 10-year low after the company replaced its CEO.

U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry tumbled 17.2 percent to $6.43 a share after the smartphone maker said it was abandoning a plan to sell itself. With Monday’s drop, the stock is at levels unseen since October 2003.

Twitter , meanwhile, raised the upper end of the projected price range for its initial public offering later in the week, an encouraging sign for the social media company.

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

“There’s not a lot of volume out there,” said Weston Boone, vice president of listed trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets. By 1:45 p.m. ET, about 2.89 billion shares had changed hands on the New York and Nasdaq stock exchanges, suggesting a below-average session.

The benchmark S&P index has risen 4.3 percent over the past four weeks as the partial U.S. government shutdown in October pushed back expectations for the Fed to begin curtailing its stimulus measures into the first quarter of 2014.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.33 points or 0.01 percent, to 15,617.88, the S&P 500 gained 3.35 points or 0.19 percent, to 1,764.99 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.872 points or 0.18 percent, to 3,928.914.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told CNBC television the Fed should not rush a decision to scale back its asset purchase program because of low inflation.

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

The S&P Energy Index rose 0.8 percent to 632.83. The sector’s top performer was Peabody Energy Corp, which rose 3.84 percent to $20.82. Exxon Mobil Corp was up $1.85 to $91.67.

Kellogg Co advanced 1.1 percent to $62.98 after the cereal maker reported a 3 percent rise in quarterly profit, and said it would slash 7 percent of its workforce by 2017.

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

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