* Yellen scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. ET
* Dow remains less than 1 pct away from 20,000
* United Tech rises after Credit Suisse upgrade; boosts Dow
* Indexes up: Dow 0.33 pct, S&P 0.34 pct, Nasdaq 0.67 pct
(Adds details, changes quote, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 19 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 rose 0.94 percent,
leading the 11 major sectors.
Microsoft, Amazon and Apple 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 was
up 65.41 points, or 0.33 percent, at 19,908.82.
The S&P 500 was up 7.69 points, or 0.34 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite 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 rose 2.1 percent, helping lift
the Dow, after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to "outperform"
and increased its price target.
Walt Disney 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