New York Report: BlackBerry and Apple keep US stocks sweet

THE DOW and the S&P 500 indexes dipped slightly yesterday, extending losses from Wall Street’s worst week since June last week, but Apple and BlackBerry kept the Nasdaq index afloat.

Trading volume was light, marking one of the five days this year with fewer than 5bn shares traded over a full session. Many traders are away on holiday in August, amplifying market swings, and the earnings season is drawing to a close as the market enters a slow period.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 5.83 points, or 0.04 per cent, at 15,419.68. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 1.95 points, or 0.12 per cent, at 1,689.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.84 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 3,669.95.

US-listed shares of smartphone maker BlackBerry rose 10.5 per cent to $10.78 after the company said it had set up a committee to explore a possible sale or partnership. The stock was the most actively traded on Nasdaq.

Shares of Apple rose 2.8 per cent to $467.36 after technology blog AllThingsD reported the company is expected to present its redesigned iPhone in September.

Steinway Musical Instruments, the manufacturer of pianos, saxophones and trumpets, said it received a $38-per-share buyout offer from an investment firm it did not identify, topping an earlier bid by Kohlberg & Co. Shares of Steinway rose 9.3 per cent to $39.59.

Vical shares plummeted 57 per cent to $1.53 after it said it would stop developing cancer therapy Allovectin after a late-stage trial failed.

Tesla Motors dipped 3.7 per cent to $147.38 after Lazard downgraded the stock.