* Producer prices fall for third straight month in Nov
* Investors cautious before Fed meeting next week
* Qualcomm says COO Steve Mollenkopf to become CEO in March
* Indexes up: Dow 0.03 pct, S&P 0.05 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were modestly
higher on Friday, bouncing back after a three-day drop, though
market participants remained cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve
policy meeting next week.
Data showing a third straight month of decline in producer
prices supported the day's gains as it pointed to a lack of
inflation that could give the Federal Reserve pause as it weighs
the future of its monthly bond purchases.
Investors have been concerned that recent signs of strength
in the economy may persuade the Fed, which holds a two-day
policy meeting next week, to soon scale back its market-friendly
"The market is digesting a three-day decline, taking a pause
from the selloff. Once we get the Fed news out of the way next
week, then I expect the seasonal factor to kick in and we may
see historical highs again leading up to the new year," said
Ryan Detrick, analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in
Despite the day's gains, the S&P 500 index was on track to
end the week lower. The benchmark was now set for its worst
decline since the end of August.
Global equities were headed for their biggest two-week drop
since June and the dollar hit 5-year highs against the yen on
Friday amid concern U.S. stimulus may be wound down following
the Fed policy meeting on Dec. 17-18.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.97 points or
0.03 percent, to 15,744.4, the S&P 500 gained 0.87 points
or 0.05 percent, to 1,776.37 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 8.994 points or 0.22 percent, to 4,007.397.
Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc said Chief Operating Officer
Steve Mollenkopf will become chief executive in March, replacing
Paul Jacobs who will be executive chairman. Qualcomm shares were
up 0.6 percent at $73.13.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp and its Kerr-McGee unit
acted with "intent to hinder" when they spun off Tronox, a paint
materials company that later went bankrupt, and should pay
billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs, a judge
ruled on Thursday. The decision had been awaited for about a
year since a trial wrapped up in late 2012. The stock fell
nearly 11 percent to $74.59.
Twitter Inc was forced to nix a change to its
"block" feature on Thursday after users protested that the new
policy empowered perpetrators of online abuse.
Twitter shares rose 3.8 percent to $57.43.
Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $6.51 billion out of
stock mutual funds in the week ended Wednesday, the biggest
weekly outflow this year, on worries over an imminent wind-down
of Fed bond purchases, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service
showed on Thursday.