US STOCKS-Wall St flat and on track to end seven months of gains

Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:49am EDT

* S&P on track to end June lower, but positive for quarter

* Accenture and BlackBerry both tumble after results

* Molycorp climbs after SEC investigation

* Dow down 0.1 pct, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were flat on Friday, with investors finding little reason to push shares higher after a three-day rally on the S&P 500, which was on pace to end a seven-month rally.

Trading was volatile, with shares opening lower and falling steadily before rebounding. Technology shares were among the weakest of the day, pressured by weak corporate results, but the losses were offset by strength in energy and material shares.

Cyclical groups, which includes materials and are tied to the pace of economic growth, have rallied this week on easing concerns that the Federal Reserve's stimulus program - which has been widely credited with fueling the market's gains this year - would soon end.

Last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested the policy could be slowed if the economy improves, resulting in a sell-off of nearly 5 percent, though that subsequently dissipated on signs that the end of stimulus efforts wasn't imminent.

"The market is continuing to adjust as we try and figure out what's going on with respect to Fed policy, and we should continue to see volatility as things gets sorted out," said Rex Macey, who helps oversee $20 billion in assets as chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust in Atlanta, Georgia.

"We're cooling off a little bit after a few days of strong action.

For the month of June, the Dow is down 0.8 percent, the S&P is down 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq is down 1.4 percent. Both the S&P and Nasdaq are on track to end a seven-month rally, while the Dow is on track to end a six-month jump.

An index of technology shares fell 1.2 percent on Friday as the worst performing S&P sector.

Accenture PLC tumbled 13 percent to $69.76 as the biggest drag on the S&P after cutting its full-year outlook. The results also put a dent in shares of competitor IBM, which dropped 3.3 percent to $189.17 as the biggest weight on the Dow.

Energy and material shares advanced, with Newmont Mining up 5.3 percent to $29.17 and Nextera Energy up 1.5 percent to $81.61.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 21.50 points, or 0.14 percent, at 15,002.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.19 point, or 0.01 percent, at 1,613.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 5.94 points, or 0.17 percent, at 3,407.80.

The S&P 500 is up 2.6 percent over the prior three sessions as economic data and comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials soothed worries over an earlier-than-expected reining in of stimulative bond purchases by the Fed. For the week, the index is up 1.3 percent, ending a two-week string of declines. The Dow is up 1.4 percent on the month while the Nasdaq is up 1.5 percent.

For the second quarter, the Dow is up 2.9 percent, the S&P is up 2.7 percent and the Nasdaq is up 4.3 percent. Newmont Mining was the S&P's weakest performer in the quarter, down 34 percent, while First Solar was the strongest, jumping 65 percent.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment was 84.1 points, slightly below a near six-year high of 84.5 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a final June reading of 82.8.

The June Chicago Purchasing Management Index fell to 51.6 in June, below expectations.

U.S.-listed shares of Research in Motion plunged 27 percent to $10.57 after the BlackBerry maker offered few signs of a long-promised turnaround on Friday. It reported an unexpected quarterly operating loss, a dearth of details on sales of its make-or-break new line of devices and no return to profit expected in the current quarter.

Molycorp Inc jumped 6.8 percent to $5.99 after the rare earths producer said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission completed an investigation into the company and didn't recommend enforcement action.

Arch Coal Inc gained 2.2 percent to $3.68 after the company agreed to sell its Canyon Fuel subsidiary for $435 million in cash.

Investors can expect a surge of volume at the close Friday when Russell Investments is due to set the final update for the annual reconstitution of its indexes.

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