* 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 off: Dow 0.36 pct, S&P 500 0.48 pct, Nasdaq 0.63 pct (Updates to late afternoon trading)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, as the recent rally lost steam to pull major indexes off record levels, while the trend of modest moves and low volume continued moving into the final trading day of the year.
The day’s losses were broad, with each of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors in negative territory. Utilities - 2014’s best sector performer - led the decline with a drop of 2.1 percent.
Equities have enjoyed a solid rally of late, buoyed by strong economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s commitment to be “patient” about raising interest rates. The S&P 500 gained nearly 6 percent over the prior eight sessions and managed to score its 53rd record close of the year on Monday, while the Dow narrowly missed extending its positive streak to eight sessions.
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 dampens volume. The stock market will be closed on Thursday for the New Year’s holiday.
“Just some last-minute profit-taking, tomorrow is the last trading session of the year,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
“We had a strong run up and the market kept going up without pausing. There comes a point a time where the market just says, ‘OK, I need to rest a bit.'”
In the latest economic data, consumer confidence rose slightly less than expected in December, while U.S. single-family home price appreciation slowed less than forecast in October.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64.75 points, or 0.36 percent, to 17,973.48, the S&P 500 lost 10.06 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,080.51 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 30.17 points, or 0.63 percent, to 4,776.74.
NeuroDerm Ltd soared 150 percent to $15.45 on heavy volume 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.
Civeo Corp, which provides temporary housing for oilfield workers and miners, late Monday slashed its workforce and forecast revenue could fall by one-third as slumping crude prices force oil producers to cut costs. The stock plunged 53.6 percent to $3.92 on volume of about 47.3 million shares, the most active day in its history.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,825 to 1,218, for a 1.50-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,705 issues fell and 991 advanced for a 1.72-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The S&P 500 was posting 25 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 91 new highs and 37 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)