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US STOCKS-Wall St holds steady in light trade after last week's gains

Luke Swiderski
Monday, 11 Nov 2013 | 12:51 PM ET

* Bond markets shut for holiday, seen damping stock trading

* Friday's jobs data prompts more speculation about Fed tapering

* Transocean reaches deal with Icahn over dividend

* Dow up 0.1 pct; S&P 500 up 0.02 pct; Nasdaq flat

NEW YORK, Nov 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks barely budged on Monday in thin trading after investors found little reason to add significant new positions with the Dow and the S&P 500 on a five-week winning streak.

The pause comes after October's jobs report drove the Dow Jones industrial average to close on Friday at another record high. The Standard & Poor's 500 ended Friday's session within a few points of its all-time closing high, while both the Dow and the S&P wrapped up a fifth straight week of gains.

Volume on Monday was expected to be quiet, with bond markets closed for Veterans Day.

Friday's data, which showed that the economy created 204,000 jobs in October, has rekindled expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may reduce its stimulus efforts sooner than expected. A Reuters survey showed that more U.S. primary dealers now expect the Federal Reserve to trim its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases before March.

"People are still trying to get a handle on the data," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading, in Greenwich, Connecticut. "The question is how hard do people want to push stocks ... that's the tug of war going on in equity prices."

Twitter Inc, which went public amid much fanfare last week, dipped 0.05 percent to $41.63. The stock peaked at $50.09 last Thursday, its first day of trading.

The Nasdaq index, which has been underperforming the broader market recently, was little changed. Large technology companies had the biggest negative impact on the Nasdaq, with Apple Inc slipping 0.4 percent to $518.72. It was reported that the tech giant was developing curved display iPhones.

Technology stocks have trailed several other industry sectors in 2013. The 18.3 percent rise for the information technology sector index this year ranks it sixth among the S&P 500's 10 industry groups.

"Should technology take the reins and move above here, that will likely be the catalyst that leads the S&P 500 to new all-time highs." said Bryan Sapp, senior trading analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14.20 points, or 0.09 percent, to 15,775.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index inched up 0.39 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,771.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index was flat, edging up just 0.12 of a point, or unchanged on a percentage basis, to 3,919.35.

Shares of ViroPharma jumped 25.5 percent to $49.41 following news that London-listed Shire is buying the company for $4.2 billion, attracted by a pipeline of potentially lucrative drugs to treat rare diseases.

Transocean Ltd shares gained 3.8 percent to $55.49 after the company said it reached an agreement with investor Carl Icahn in which the offshore driller will pay a dividend of $3 per share and reduce the number of board seats.

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