By Tanya Agrawal
U.S. stocks were higher on Monday in light trading, with the three major indexes hovering near record levels, driven by a rise in technology shares.The S&P technology index .SPLRCT rose 0.94 percent, leading the 11 major sectors. Microsoft (MSFT.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) were up between 1-1.8 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and the S&P 500."Traditionally, as you head into the week before Christmas, you see volumes slow down and a somewhat trendless market as people begin to position their portfolios for next year," said Matt Jones, U.S. head of equity strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York.U.S. stocks have been on a tear since the Nov. 8 presidential election, with the S&P rising 5.7 percent on bets that President-elect Donald Trump's expected deregulation and infrastructure spending will boost the economy.The Dow posted its sixth straight week of gains on Friday, its longest streak in a year. The blue-chip index remains less than 1 percent away from 20,000, a level it has never breached.
However, there are some concerns that the rally may run out of steam as policy will take time to be implemented and will likely change as it makes its way through Congress."The market is fairly valued right now, but, more importantly, we need to see that earnings acceleration next year. If we do not see that in 2017, then you could see a pullback," Jones said.At 11:00 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial average .DJI was up 65.41 points, or 0.33 percent, at 19,908.82.
The S&P 500 .SPX was up 7.69 points, or 0.34 percent, at 2,265.76.The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 36.61 points, or 0.67 percent, at 5,473.77.U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will be speaking on "the State of the Job Market" at 1:30 p.m. ET (1830 GMT) at the University of Baltimore. Yellen's speech comes less than a week after the central bank raised interest rates only for the second time since the financial crisis.
United Technologies (UTX.N) rose 2.1 percent, helping lift the Dow, after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to "outperform" and increased its price target.Walt Disney (DIS.N) was up 1.6 percent at $105.60 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch added the stock to its U.S. 1 list and said the company's shares were well positioned to outperform.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,981 to 858. On the Nasdaq, 1,796 issues rose and 882 fell.The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 76 new highs and 20 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2016 23:00:08 IST