US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower on yr-end profit taking

* CVS to buy Universal American prescription drug business

* IMAX jumps on report of possible takeover

* Indexes off: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct

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

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Dec 31 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) edged lower on
Friday, the final trading day of the year, as investors took
profits after a recent rally that has the S&P on track for its
best December performance in nearly two decades.

The benchmark index has gained 6.6 percent so far this
month, closing Wednesday at its highest level since Sept. 8,
2008, and has risen in 17 of the last 21 sessions. The index is
on course for its biggest December gain since 1991, when it
rose 11.2 percent.

From its July low the S&P has risen 23 percent, boosted by
improving economic data, positive earnings reports and stimulus
measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Investors will closely
watch a host of data next week for any incentives to take
profits or extend the rally.

“We had a nice year, as far as percentage up, really good
numbers for the year,” said Terry Morris, senior vice president
and senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust
Company in Reading, Pennsylvania.

“It’s just drifting and it’s entitled to a pullback. Then
it will be like someone turned the switch on Monday.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 26.22
points, or 0.23 percent, to 11,543.49. The Standard & Poor’s
500 Index (.SPX: ) lost 2.72 points, or 0.22 percent, to
1,255.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) dipped 10.18
points, or 0.38 percent, to 2,652.80.

Volume is expected to remain weak as the U.S. government
and many businesses are closed on Friday on observance of the
New Year’s holiday.

Drugstore chain CVS Caremark Corp (CVS.N: ) agreed to buy
Universal American Corp’s (UAM.N: ) Medicare prescription drug
business for about $1.25 billion. Universal American surged
35.8 percent to $19.84, while CVS slipped 0.3 percent to
$34.90. For details, see [ID:nN31133101]

U.S.-listed shares of IMAX Corp (IMAX.O: ) jumped 12 percent
to $30.07 after Britain’s Daily Mail reported that Sony Corp
(6758.T: ) might bid at least $40 per share for the big-screen
movie company. [ID:nSGE6BU084]
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Wall St edges lower on yr-end profit taking