US STOCKS-Dow, S&P 500 slip, BlackBerry and Apple lift Nasdaq
* BlackBerry soars; company exploring strategic options
* Options activity shows near-term hedging increasing: Credit Suisse
* Indexes: Dow down 0.2 pct; S&P down 0.3 pct; Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes fell on Monday, 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 as many traders were away on holiday in August, amplifying market swings. In addition, the earnings period is drawing to a close as the market enters a seasonally slow period.
Last week, the market had some of its lightest trading volume of the year. But hedging activity picked up in the options market as traders brace for a short-term decline in equities, according to Credit Suisse.
"While we're seeing increased near-term hedging going into September's (Federal Reserve) meeting, the option market is becoming more constructive on the medium-term market outlook," said Mandy Xu, equity derivatives strategist at Credit Suisse in New York.
The Fed's policy has helped fueled the S&P's gain of nearly 19 percent in 2013. The Fed is seen as moving toward reducing its stimulus in the form of $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, causing some investors to take a step back from stocks.
Some Fed officials have said the U.S. central bank could begin scaling back its quantitative easing next month if the economy continues to improve.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 32.67 points, or 0.21 percent, at 15,392.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 4.78 points, or 0.28 percent, at 1,686.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 3.78 points, or 0.10 percent, at 3,663.89.
U.S.-listed shares of smartphone maker BlackBerry rose 12 percent to $10.90 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 on Monday.
Shares of Apple Inc, the world's largest technology company, rose 2.4 percent to $465 after technology blog AllThingsD reported that 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 8.6 percent to $39.34.
Vical Inc shares plummeted 56 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 4.2 percent to $146.60 after Lazard downgraded the stock.