US STOCKS-Tech results lift Wall St, but volume still 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 0.5 pct, S&P up 0.5 pct, Nasdaq up 0.7 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 (Updates to afternoon trading)
 By Ryan Vlastelica
 NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street advanced for a
third straight day on Friday as the tech sector rose on upbeat
outlooks, though weak trading volume hinted the rally lacks
enthusiasm.
 All three major stock indexes looked to post gains for the
week after two straight weeks of declines. The S&P was on track
to notch its best week in eight, raising renewed questions
about how much upside potential was left.
 "Fundamentals are improving, but I'm not sure the economy
will jump back on the high-speed rails to expansion like
investors are hoping," said Andrew Wilkinson, senior market
analyst at Interactive Brokers Group in Greenwich, Connecticut.
"I think expectations are going to be a little more sober
heading into the future."
 Trading volume has been weak, with Tuesday's session the
lowest of the year, pointing to a lack of conviction.
 Oracle Corp (ORCL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) jumped 3.3 percent to $33.20 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 0.5 percent on
Friday, and is up more than 3 percent so far this quarter.
 In a further boost to techs, Accenture (ACN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 5.1
percent to $54.59 after the technology outsourcing and
consulting company raised its outlook. [ID:nN24180187]
 "When you see big names like these beat expectations like
this, it's very encouraging," said Michael Vogelzang, president
and chief investment officer at Boston Advisors, which owns
Oracle shares.
 "Oracle is taking share, which is great to see, but you
don't post these numbers in a soft environment. The market is
getting stronger."
 The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 62.55
points, or 0.51 percent, at 12,233.11. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 6.86 points, or 0.52 percent, at
1,316.52. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 20.14
points, or 0.74 percent, at 2,756.56.
 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 percent to $57.05. [ID:nN24175647]
 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]
 Edwards Lifesciences Corp (EW.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 4.7 percent to
$89.37. Standard & Poor's said late Thursday the company would
be added to the S&P 500 after the close of trading on March 31.
On Friday, Madison Williams upgraded the stock to "buy."
[ID:nL3E7EP23K]
 (Editing by Leslie Adler)


US STOCKS-Tech results lift Wall St, but volume still weak