US STOCKS-S&P breaks above technical resistance on light volume

* Cisco jumps after CEO’s memo hints at new direction

* S&P breaks above 1,333 resistance on light volume

* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P up 0.2 pct, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates to close)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 inched forward
on relatively light volume on Wednesday, with investors adding
selectively to winning positions, this time in technology,
avoiding large bets ahead of earnings.

After days of struggling, the broader market index broke
above the closely watched 1,333 level. The next closely
watched technical point is 1,344, the high dating to June
2008.

“It would be tough (to break above 1,344). We might go
near that before the earnings since I think earnings will be
mostly ‘sell on the news’,” said James Dailey, portfolio
manager at TEAM Asset Strategy Fund in Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania.

It has now been nine trading days since the S&P 500 rose
or fell more than 0.7 percent, a sign of relative calm amid
few trading catalysts. Volume was 7.29 billion on the New York
Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, compared with last
year’s estimated daily average of 8.47 billion.

Markets derived some comfort from Tuesday’s comments from
Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers. Cisco Systems Inc
(CSCO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares rose 4.9 percent to $18.07 after Chambers
admitted on Tuesday the one-time technology bellwether and
Wall Street darling has lost its way and will need to restore
its credibility. For details, see [ID:nN05136493].

“This applies not only to Cisco but to many big tech
names. The blue chips are still reasonably priced and we see a
potential of these stocks leading higher.”

The PHLX semiconductor index (.SOX: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 1.5 percent.

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) shares rose 2.2 percent to
$41.18. Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.4 percent to $26.15.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 32.85 points,
or 0.27 percent, to close at 12,426.75. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 2.91 points, or 0.22 percent, to
1,335.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) advanced 8.63
points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,799.82.

Stocks also got a lift from the president of the Atlanta
Federal Reserve Bank, Dennis Lockhart, who said the Fed will
complete its $600 billion bond-buying plan as scheduled at the
end of June. He said he does not see any reason to end the
program early.

The percentage of U.S. stock market bulls rose to the
highest level in nearly four months as equities continue to
recover from their recent fall, according to a weekly survey
of advisers by Investors Intelligence. [ID:nWEN0567]

Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares gained 3.9 percent to $39.95
after Oppenheimer raised its rating on the chipmaker’s stock
and set a price target of $55. [ID:nL3E7F61DU].

In earnings news, global agribusiness Monsanto Co (MON.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
said net income jumped about 15 percent in the second quarter
on strong sales of corn seed for spring planting and improved
profit margins.

But its stock fell 5.7 percent to $69.16 after the world’s
largest seed company did not raise its full-year outlook.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal)

US STOCKS-S&P breaks above technical resistance on light volume