* Producer prices fall for third straight month in November
* Investors cautious before Fed meeting next week
* Qualcomm says COO Steve Mollenkopf to become CEO in March
* Dow up 0.2 pct, S&P 500 up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks gained slightly on
Friday as investors were cautious after a three-day drop and
ahead of the Federal Reserve's final policy meeting of the year
Investors have been trying to gauge the timing of when the
U.S. central bank may begin to scale back its stimulus measures,
with many market participants expecting the Fed to announce a
tapering of its monthly bond purchases in March.
However, recent signs of strength in economic data have led
some investors to be wary of the possibility of an earlier
pullback by the Fed, which holds a two-day policy meeting next
"The last couple of days selloff with (bond) yields rising a
little bit definitely tells you the taper talk is back, and
people are starting to build a little of that into it," said Joe
Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New
"You have a lot of guys who are sitting back; maybe they are
up, averages are better, so why risk it here?"
Economic data on Friday showed producer prices declined in
November for a third straight month, indicating a lack of
inflation that could give the Federal Reserve pause regarding
The S&P 500 fell 1.8 percent over the previous three
sessions, putting the benchmark index on track for its worst
weekly decline since the end of August. The index is up nearly
25 percent for the year, largely fueled by the Fed's stimulus.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.51 points or
0.17 percent, to 15,765.94. The S&P 500 gained 1.83
points or 0.1 percent, to 1,777.33. The Nasdaq Composite
added 7.643 points or 0.19 percent, to 4,006.045.
Adobe Systems Inc jumped 11.4 percent to $60.10,
giving the biggest boost to both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100
indexes after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software
forecast current-quarter results below analysts' estimates, but
reported a surge in the number of subscribers to its Creative
Cloud suite from the previous quarter.
Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc said Chief Operating Officer
Steve Mollenkopf will become its chief executive officer in
March, replacing Paul Jacobs, who will be executive chairman.
Qualcomm shares rose 0.3 percent to $72.95.
In the energy sector, shares of Anadarko Petroleum Corp
slumped 8 percent to $76.97 a day after a U.S. judge
ruled that Anadarko and its Kerr-McGee unit acted with "intent
to hinder" when they spun off Tronox, a paint materials
company that later went bankrupt. The judge ruled that Anadarko
and Kerr-McGee should pay billions of dollars in environmental
cleanup costs. The decision had been awaited for about a year
since a trial wrapped up in late 2012.
In the Internet arena, 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 2.6 percent to $56.76.
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 winding
down of the Fed's bond purchases, data from Thomson Reuters'
Lipper service showed on Thursday.