US STOCKS-Oracle drives Wall St higher; volume stays weak


 * Tech gains as Oracle outlook signals strong IT spending
 * BlackBerry maker RIM slips after disappointing outlook
 * U.S. revises upward Q4 GDP final read to 3.1 pct
 * Dow up 0.4 pct, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 (Updates to close)
 By Chuck Mikolajczak
 NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street advanced for a
third straight day on Friday, giving the S&P its best weekly
performance since early February, but volume remained light as
global uncertainty persisted.
 The three major stock indexes posted weekly gains after
two straight weeks of declines brought on by the Japan
earthquake, turmoil in the Arab world and a resurfacing of
European debt problems.
 Helped by a rise in tech shares after an upbeat outlook
from Oracle Corp(ORCL.O: Quote, Profile, Research), the S&P notched its best week since
early December. But low volume, and the market's uncanny
ability to withstand bad news, spurred questions about the
rally's strength.
 "Overall, I keep looking at the pluses and minuses and
this week has been spectacular with respect to everybody
ignoring the minuses," said Kim Caughey Forrest, senior equity
research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.
 The CBOE Volatility Index (.VIX: Quote, Profile, Research) posted its second-worst
seven-day run as investors shed anxieties about the global
tumult.
 Friday's trading volume of 6.56 billion shares on the New
York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, was weak, with
Friday's session the second-lowest of the year, pointing to a
lack of conviction. Daily average volume is 8.04 billion.
 Oracle's stock climbed 1.6 percent to $32.64 and was the
Nasdaq's most actively traded name a day after forecasting a
rise in new software sales for its current fiscal quarter. The
outlook fueled hopes that a global resurgence in tech spending
remains intact, prompting at least 12 brokerages to raise
their price targets on the stock. For details, see
[ID:nL3E7EP1HG] and [ID:nN24301684]
 The S&P technology index (.GSPT: Quote, Profile, Research) rose edged up 0.2 percent
on Friday, and is up 3.3 percent so far this quarter.
 In a further boost to techs, Accenture (ACN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 4.5
percent to $54.29 after the technology outsourcing and
consulting company raised its outlook. [ID:nN24180187]
 The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 50.03
points, or 0.41 percent, to 12,220.59. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 4.14 points, or 0.32 percent, to
1,313.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) added 6.64
points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,743.06.
 For the week, the Dow gained 3.1 percent, the S&P climbed
2.7 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 3.8 percent.
 On the downside in tech shares, BlackBerry maker Research
In Motion Ltd (RIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(RIMM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said earnings would slip as it
spends heavily to launch its PlayBook tablet. The company's
U.S.-listed shares sank 11.2 percent to $56.89.
[ID:nN24175647]
 On the economic data front, the Commerce Department
reported that the U.S. economy grew more quickly than
previously estimated in the fourth quarter of 2010 as
businesses restocked shelves to meet rising demand.
[ID:nN25243056]
 U.S. consumer sentiment in March fell to its lowest level
in more than a year as gasoline and food prices rose,
according to the latest consumer survey from Thomson Reuters
and the University of Michigan. [ID:nLDE72O1GZ]
 Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by
1,969 to 1,015, while on the Nasdaq, advancers beat decliners
1,515 to 1,092.
 (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)








US STOCKS-Oracle drives Wall St higher; volume stays weak