US STOCKS- Wall St starts week upbeat, boosted by tech shares

* Second-quarter earnings kick off this week

* Yellen to testify later in the week

* Indexes: Dow down 0.03 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct
(Updates to close)

By Kimberly Chin

NEW YORK, July 10 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher on
Monday, led by gains in technology stocks as investors were
optimistic ahead of earnings.

The S&P 500 technology index was up 0.8 percent,
followed by a 0.6 percent gain in the materials index.

Technology is expected to have had among the strongest
earnings growth for the second quarter, according to Thomson
Reuters data.

“You had a little bit of a sell-off in the tech sector over
the last couple of weeks,” said Jeff Carbone, managing partner
at Cornerstone Financial Partners. “This shows that investors
may be seeing opportunities to get in … as we head into
earnings season.”

U.S. companies have begun to release second-quarter
earnings, with reports due this week from big U.S. banks
including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and
Citigroup. S&P 500 earnings are forecast up 7.9 percent in
the second quarter compared with a year ago.

In a significant victory for the banking industry, the
Federal Reserve late last month approved plans from the 34
largest U.S. banks to use extra capital for stock buybacks,
dividends and other purposes.

The healthcare sector was down 0.3 percent as
investors waited for clarity on the healthcare legislation
overhaul proposed in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 5.82 points, or
0.03 percent, to end at 21,408.52, the S&P 500 gained
2.25 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,427.43 and the Nasdaq
Composite added 23.31 points, or 0.38 percent, to
6,176.39.

Snap shares fell below their IPO price of $17 for
the first time, to hit a low of $16.95. The stock closed at
$16.99, down 1.1 percent. Snap was the hottest U.S. technology
listing in years when it went public in March.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony may be the
highlight this week for investors looking for cues on further
interest rate hikes. She will testify on Wednesday and Thursday.

Amazon.com Inc shares rose 1.8 percent to $996.47
ahead of its popular Prime Day shopping festival. Shares of Best
Buy fell 6.3 percent to $54.23 on news that Amazon was
planning to roll out a Geek Squad competitor.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.05-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.48-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 27 new 52-week highs and 11 new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 81 new highs and 69 new lows.

Volume was light, with about 5.6 billion shares changing
hands on U.S. exchanges. That compares with the 6.9 billion
daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson
Reuters data.
(Reporting by Kimberly Chin in New York; Editing by James
Dalgleish)

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