US STOCKS-Wall St gains modestly after data; BlackBerry plummets

Mon Nov 4, 2013 10:23am EST
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* BlackBerry abandons sale plans, to replace CEO

* Weyerhaeuser to sell homebuilding unit for $2.7 bln

* U.S. factory orders fall more than expected

* Indexes: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq off 0.01 pct

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged modestly higher on Monday in the wake of data showing that business spending dropped sharply in September and amid uncertainty over how soon the Federal Reserve would be comfortable enough with growth to begin scaling back stimulus.

U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry tumbled 10 percent to $6.99 after the smartphone maker said it was abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead, would replace its chief executive officer.

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

Indeed, 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.   Continued...