* Early weakness brings in the buyers, VIX slides
* S&P 500 at highest intraday level since October 2007
* BlackBerry jumps 11 percent, Z10 sales to start in U.S.
* Dow up 0.2 pct, S&P 500 up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq flat
By Leah Schnurr
NEW YORK, March 11 Wall Street inched higher on
Monday as earlier weakness prompted some buying and investors
pushed the S&P 500 to its highest intraday level since October
By midday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500
were trading in positive territory, continuing last week's rally
that took the Dow to record highs. The S&P 500 is only about 1
percent 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
consolidation. The CBOE Volatility Index, known as the
VIX, dropped 5.5 percent to 11.90.
U.S. equities have rallied strongly since the beginning of
the year, helped by signs of improvement in the economy, and
pullbacks have been short lived as investors look to get into
"There's real belief in this rally," said Tim Ghriskey,
chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New
"There are lots of investors out there looking for
opportunities to put more money to work in equities, and they're
using these little pullbacks we've had - and there haven't been
many - as purchasing opportunities."
In the first three months of the year, the benchmark S&P has
gained nearly 9 percent.
On Monday, the S&P 500 rose to its highest intraday level
since Oct 15, 2007.
The Dow has climbed 10 percent for the year.
Wall Street had traded slightly lower earlier in the day as
Italy's credit downgrade and disappointing Chinese economic data
gave investors a reason to pause.
Shortly after midday, the Dow Jones industrial average
added 27.03 points, or 0.19 percent, to 14,424.10. The
Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up 1.69 points, or 0.11
percent, at 1,552.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index was
down 1.03 points, or 0.03 percent, at 3,243.33.
The U.S.-listed shares of BlackBerry surged
11 percent after U.S. carriers said they would soon begin
selling the company's long-delayed Z10 device. The stock shot up
11.1 percent to $14.51.
Dell Inc has agreed to give Carl Icahn a closer
look at its books less than a week after the activist investor
joined a growing chorus of opposition to founder Michael Dell's
plan to take the world's No. 3 personal computer maker private.
Dell shares were up 1.3 percent at $14.34, above the
take-private offer price of $13.65.
Genworth Financial Inc shares jumped 6.3 percent to
$10.46 following a report by Barron's that the mortgage
insurer's stock could almost double in the next year, boosted by
gains in mortgage and healthcare pricing.
In contrast, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc fell 10
percent to $45.53 after the retailer reported
lower-than-expected fourth-quarter results and gave a