February 26, 2018 / 4:40 PM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Technology, industrial shares boost Wall St

* Focus on Fed chief's testimony, inflation data this week

* U.S. bond yields, VIX ease further from peaks

* Berkshire Hathaway gains on Buffett's comments on buy backs

* Indexes up: Dow 0.86 pct, S&P 0.54 pct, Nasdaq 0.57 pct (Changes comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Gains in technology and industrial shares boosted Wall Street on Monday, with investors also awaiting Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony for his views on the path of interest rate hikes.

Powell will face questions from both houses of the U.S. Congress in a semi-annual testimony starting on Tuesday, his first major set piece since he took over from Janet Yellen earlier this month.

His testimony comes at a time when investors have been anxious about the pace of rate hikes, which have weighed on equity markets globally.

Investors are hoping that Powell will keep the U.S. central bank on a steady course of monetary tightening.

"I don't think he's going to say anything dovish or hawkish - in an attempt to at least have the first appearance to be down the middle or balanced," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.

"I surely think the current Fed would let some inflationary pressure run hotter than their target for a period without getting more aggressive."

The Fed said on Friday it expected economic growth to remain steady and saw no serious risks on the horizon that might pause its planned pace of rate hikes.

The U.S. 10-year Treasury yields eased to 2.8405 percent , slipping from the four-year high it hit last week, while the CBOE Volatility index, known as Wall Street's fear gauge, was last at 16.65.

At 11:08 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 218.13 points, or 0.86 percent, at 25,528.12, boosted by gains in 3M and Boeing.

The S&P 500 was up 14.73 points, or 0.54 percent, at 2,762.03 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 42.07 points, or 0.57 percent, at 7,379.46.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.81 percent gain in the technology index.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet were up between 0.7 percent and 1.5 percent.

Berkshire Hathaway rose 2.66 percent after Warren Buffett said his conglomerate, which is sitting on $116 billion of cash, is "more inclined" to repurchase stock than pay dividends as a means to use excess cash.

Qualcomm shares rose 3.2 percent after the chipmaker urged Broadcom to enter into price negotiations on its $117 billion offer for the company. Broadcom was down about 0.7 percent.

GE dipped more than 2 percent after the industrial conglomerate nominated three new candidates to its board.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,557 to 1,219. On the Nasdaq, 1,477 issues rose and 1,286 fell. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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