US STOCKS- Wall St inches up, boosted by tech shares

* Second-quarter earnings kick off this week

* Yellen to testify later in the week

* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct
(Updates to late afternoon)

By Kimberly Chin

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

The S&P 500 technology index was up 1 percent,
followed by a 0.8 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.

Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential
Financial in Newark, New Jersey, said investors may be putting
money into technology after the group’s recent pullback.

“New money is coming into the market. We typically have new
money coming in at the start of a new quarter, and you’ve
already had a pullback in tech,” she said.

U.S. companies have begun to report on the second quarter,
with reports due this week from big U.S. banks including
JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

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 0.2 percent as
investors waited for clarity on the healthcare legislation
overhaul proposed in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 10.24 points,
or 0.05 percent, to 21,424.58, the S&P 500 had gained
4.83 points, or 0.20 percent, to 2,430.01 and the Nasdaq
Composite had added 30.90 points, or 0.50 percent, to

The three major indexes are trading close to record-high
levels, boosted by strong economic data and robust corporate
performance in the first quarter.

Markets closed on a high on Friday after a monthly payrolls
report exceeded expectations, giving investors more confidence
in the strength of the U.S. economy.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony will be the
highlight this week for investors looking for cues on further
interest rate hikes. She will testify on Wednesday and Thursday. Inc shares rose 2 percent to $998.90
ahead of its popular Prime Day shopping festival. Shares of Best
Buy fell 6 percent to $54.42 on news that Amazon was
planning to roll out a Geek Squad competitor.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.19-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-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.
(Reporting by Kimberly Chin in New York; Editing by James