US STOCKS-Wall Street stuck in August lull, Blackberry rallies
* Traders cite lack of catalysts to move market, vacation absences
* BlackBerry soars after saying panel will explore its options
* Nasdaq index also helped by report on redesigned Apple iPhone
* Indexes: Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct
NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stock were little changed on Monday after trimming losses, although the Nasdaq composite index rose slightly on gains by Apple and BlackBerry.
Many traders are away on holiday in August, contributing to low trading volume, which can amplify market volatility. Last week the market had some of its lightest trading so far this year.
The S&P 500 has now dropped for five of the past six sessions from recent record levels because of uncertainty about the Federal Reserve's timetable for reducing bond purchases. The index posted its biggest weekly fall since mid-June last week.
"There are very few negative catalysts, but there's also a lack of positive catalysts," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York. He noted general improvement in expectations for global growth due to reduced fears of a slowdown in China and recent positive surprises in European economic figures.
U.S.-listed shares of smartphone maker BlackBerry rose 5.7 percent to $10.30 after the company said it had set up a committee to explore strategic alternatives that could include joint ventures, partnerships or a sale of the company.
Shares of Apple Inc, the world's largest technology company, rose 2.5 percent to $465.86 after technology blog AllThingsD reported that the company is expected to present its redesigned iPhone in September.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 13.83 points, or 0.09 percent, at 15,439.34. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.42 point, or 0.02 percent, at 1,691.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.79 points, or 0.32 percent, at 3,671.89.
Several Fed officials have said the central bank could cut back on its bond-buying as early as next month if the economy continues to improve. The Fed's policy of keeping interest rates near zero has helped fueled the S&P's gain of nearly 19 percent in 2013.
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 shot up 8.5 percent to $39.
Vical Inc shares plummeted 58 percent to $1.50 after the company said it would stop developing cancer therapy Allovectin after a late-stage trial failed. The stock was one of the most actively traded on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Tesla Motors Inc dipped 4 percent to $146 after Lazard downgraded the stock.
Food company Sysco Corp shares fell 4.8 percent to $33.34 after reporting its fourth-quarter results.