US STOCKS-Wall St edges up, S&P 500 at highest since Oct 2007

Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:53pm EDT
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* Early weakness brings in the buyers, VIX slides

* S&P 500 touches highest intraday level since October 2007

* BlackBerry jumps 12 percent, Z10 sales to start in U.S.

* Dow up 0.2 pct, S&P 500 up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street inched higher on Monday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its seventh straight advance as buyers moved in after earlier weakness and briefly lifted the benchmark index to its highest intraday level since October 2007.

With the modest advance, U.S. stocks continued last week's rally that took the Dow Jones industrial average to record highs. The S&P 500 is only about 10 points away from its all-time closing high.

Wall Street's "fear gauge" fell to the lowest level since April 2007, suggesting investors were not spooked by Monday's brief pullback, despite expectations by many investors that a correction may be looming. The CBOE Volatility Index, known as the VIX, dropped 6.7 percent to 11.75.

U.S. equities have rallied strongly since the beginning of the year, helped by signs of improvement in the economy and the support of equities by the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, making recent pullbacks short lived as investors use them as a buying opportunity.   Continued...