* Further upside seen as limited after recent gains
* Trading volume expected to be light in holiday week
* Civeo shares plummet a day after results
* Indexes down: Dow 0.2 pct, S&P 0.3 pct, Nasdaq 0.3 pct (Updates to market open)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Dec 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Tuesday, with major indexes pulling back from record levels as the recent trend of modest moves and low volume continued in the next-to-last trading day of the year.
Equities have been trending to the upside recently, buoyed by strong economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s commitment to be “patient” about raising interest rates. After the S&P 500 gained nearly 6 percent over the prior eight sessions, it notched its 53rd record close of the year on Monday, while the Dow just missed extending its streak of positive sessions to eight.
The speed and scale of the rally could push traders to take profits, and volatility could be amplified with many market participants out for the holiday, which depresses volume. The stock market will be closed on Thursday for the New Year’s holiday.
“I still like equities, but we’re at a point where valuations are no longer really cheap. I don’t see much that looks inexpensive, but with the volume so low, it’s hard to know how much we should read into specific moves,” said James Liu, global market strategist for JPMorgan Funds in Chicago.
A reading of consumer confidence rose to 92.6 in December from a revised 91 in November. Analysts were expecting a reading of 93.
U.S. single-family home price appreciation slowed less than forecast in October, as there were hints of some re-acceleration in some cities by year-end, according to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas.
NeuroDerm Ltd was one of the most actively-traded Nasdaq stocks, surging 50 percent to $9.27 after it said data from a mid-stage study suggested that a higher dose of its Parkinson’s drug could provide an alternative to treatments that require surgery.
Crude oil rose 0.7 percent, recovering slightly from losses of about 2 percent in each of the three previous sessions. While the recent decline has been viewed as positive for consumers given lower gas prices, it has sharply pressured the energy sector, the worst-performing S&P industry group of the year.
Civeo Corp, which provides temporary housing for oilfield workers and miners, said late Monday it slashed its workforce and forecast revenue could fall by one-third as slumping crude prices force oil producers to cut costs. Shares plunged 43 percent to $4.69 on volume of about 9.9 million shares, many times its 50-day average of fewer than 2 million.
At 10:02 a.m. (1502 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average fell 39.17 points, or 0.22 percent, to 17,999.06, the S&P 500 lost 5.66 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,084.91 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 15.56 points, or 0.32 percent, to 4,791.35.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,565 to 1,168, for a 1.34-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,118 issues fell and 1,077 advanced for a 1.04-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 was posting 13 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 39 new highs and 9 new lows. (Editing by Nick Zieminski)