US STOCKS-Bargain hunters tiptoe back but remain cautious

Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:59pm EDT



 * Large-cap techs, industrials lead stocks higher
 * BofA shares down 7.9 pct, biggest drag on Dow
 * Credit Suisse cuts S&P year-end target to 1,100
 * Investors await this week's Bernanke speech in Wyoming
 * Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 (Updates with volume; adds details on Fed meeting, Goldman's
CEO hiring attorney)
 By Angela Moon
 NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended slightly
higher on Monday after four weeks of losses as investors
hesitated to take big risks without a catalyst for buying.
 The market was led by large-cap techs and industrials until
late in the session when a rally faded.
 Banks struggled. Bank of America (BAC.N), the largest U.S.
bank, fell 7.9  percent to $6.42, the biggest drop among the
Dow's components. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan sent a memo to
senior executives last week outlining plans to cut another
3,500 jobs. JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) lost 2.7 percent to $33.41.
 "The ground zero of all worries is financials," said
Charlie Smith, chief investment officer of Pittsburgh-based
Fort Pitt Capital Group.
 Google (GOOG.O), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) and IBM (IBM.N),
were among the top gainers. Hewlett-Packard shares came back
from a 20 percent decline on Friday in its worst day since
1987.
 The S&P 500 has dropped 12.7 percent so far in August on
fears of another recession and the intractable European debt
crisis. The rebound came on lower volume than in recent days of
selling.
 "I don't see any major appetite for buying stocks. We are
driven higher (today) because of selling exhaustion," said
James Dailey, portfolio manager of TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
 One possible spark for the market could be Federal Reserve
Chairman Ben Bernanke's Friday speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Some in the market hope Bernanke will hint at additional
stimulus measures that could buoy stocks.
 "Until we get some kind of a catalyst from Europe regarding
the sovereign debt crisis or from the Fed later this week, I
expect range-bound trading with high intraday volatility," said
Dailey.
 The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 36.85
points, or 0.34 percent, at 10,854.50. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index .SPX was up 0.29 point, or 0.03 percent, at
1,123.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 3.54
points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,345.38.
 IBM shares gained 0.9 percent at $158.98 and
Hewlett-Packard rose 3.6 percent to $24.45.
 On Monday, Credit Suisse cut its year-end target for the
S&P 500 to 1,100 from its previous level of 1,275. U.S. equity
strategist Doug Cliggott cited expectations for lower earnings
in coming quarters and little hope for price-to-earnings
multiples to expand.
 Speculation is widespread in financial markets that Federal
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will use his Friday speech at a
central banker conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to signal a
new monetary offensive to support a faltering U.S. economy.
 Bernanke, however, is most likely to outline gradual
measures, which would disappoint those looking for something
dramatic, such as a fresh round of bond buying, known as QE3.
 The Fed chairman looks set to discuss ways the Fed could
tweak its balance sheet as a means to put further pressure on
medium and long-term interest rates and anchor them at low
levels. These could be implemented in September and October at
coming Fed meetings.
 After the closing bell, shares of Goldman Sachs (GS.N) fell
2.4 percent to $104.  Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein
has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington defense
attorney, according to a government source familiar with the
matter.
 Blankfein, 56, is in his sixth year at the helm of the
largest U.S. investment bank. Investigations of Goldman and its
role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis continue.
[ID:nN1E77L1G9]
 About 8.46 billion shares were traded on the New York Stock
Exchange, the American Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, in line with
last year's daily average of 8.47 billion.
 On the NYSE, decliners beat advancers by a ratio of four to
three, while on the Nasdaq, about seven stocks fell for every
six that rose.
 (Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)


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