* Stock indexes poised for worst week since June
* Priceline gains on results, headed towards $1,000 a share
* BlackBerry open to going private, sources tell Reuters
* Dow flat, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 9 U.S. stocks were little changed
on Friday but indexes were on track for their worst week since
June as investors found few reasons to buy with equity prices
near record levels.
Wall Street has struggled this week, notching small moves in
light volume, as an absence of trading incentives kept buyers at
bay. Comments from Federal Reserve officials, which underlined
confusion over when the central bank's stimulus policy would
start to slow, further added to uncertainty.
"It's very quiet, and the market is just digesting and
looking ahead. I don't see anything dramatic coming up," said
John Carey, portfolio manager at the Boston-based Pioneer
Investment Management, which has about $200 billion in assets
"Markets are steady in terms of valuation, with no great
risks but also no screaming buys."
In the latest comments from a Fed official, Richard Fisher,
president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, reiterated that
the central bank will probably begin cutting back on its massive
bond-buying stimulus next month, as long as economic data
continues to improve.
While many investors are concerned that economic growth will
stall without the Fed's help, shares have been supported by some
strong earnings and encouraging data overseas.
In China, industrial output rose more than expected, adding
to a string of data that indicated the economy may be
stabilizing after an extended period of tepid growth.
"China has shown a lot of signs of acceleration, and that is
very helpful for markets at large," said Carey.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.33
points, or 0.00 percent, at 15,497.99. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 0.77 points, or 0.05 percent, at 1,698.25.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 5.49 points, or 0.15
percent, at 3,674.62.
For the week, the S&P is down 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq is
down 0.4 percent. The Dow is down 1 percent, snapping a six-week
string of gains.
The Nasdaq was boosted by Priceline.com Inc, which
rose 5.9 percent to $988.65, a day after it reported earnings
that beat expectations and gave a strong outlook. Some analysts
speculate the shares will cross $1,000 soon, which would be a
first for a Standard & Poor's 500 stock.
U.S. shares of BlackBerry Ltd jumped 5.3 percent to
$9.72 after Reuters reported that the company was warming to the
idea of going private, citing sources familiar with the
Monster Beverage Corp rose 2.8 percent to $65.27
after JPMorgan raised its price target on the stock to $70 from
$52. Late Thursday, it reported earnings that missed
J.C. Penney Co shares fell 4.2 percent to $13.13.
Late Thursday, activist investor Bill Ackman sent a letter to
the retail chain's board, pushing to have a new chief executive
named in the next 30 to 45 days.
Of 442 companies in the S&P 500 that reported results
through Thursday morning, Thomson Reuters data showed that 67
percent topped analysts' expectations, matching the beat rate
over the past four quarters. In terms of revenue, 53.6 percent
exceeded estimates, more than the 48 percent rate over the past
four quarters, but below the 61 percent average since 2002.