US STOCKS-Wall St flat on Fed stimulus uncertainty; BlackBerry slumps

Mon Nov 4, 2013 12:22pm EST
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* U.S. factory orders data released

* BlackBerry abandons sale plans, to replace CEO

* S&P up 0.1 pct, Dow down 0.08 pct, Nasdaq up 0.16 pct

By Luke Swiderski

NEW YORK, Nov 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Monday, with shares of Blackberry plummeting to a 10-year low as the day's biggest loser, amid uncertainty over the longevity of the Federal Reserve's massive stimulus measures.

U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry tumbled 13.8 percent to $6.70 a share after the smartphone maker said it was abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead, would replace its chief executive officer. With Monday's drop, the stock is at levels unseen since October 2003.

The quiet start to the week follows a week of record highs for U.S. stocks, and 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.

"Honestly there's not a lot of news - we are catching our breath," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research.

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.   Continued...