Cyber Monday gains for retailers offset energy, chip losses

(Reuters) - The three major Wall Street indexes were higher in early trading as gains in Amazon and other retailers on Cyber Monday outweighed losses in semiconductor makers and energy stocks.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) climbed 1.73 percent, boosting the S&P and the Nasdaq on the busiest day of the year for internet shopping, adding to gains for retail stocks on Friday. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was up 0.92 percent.

But the gains were limited by a drop in shares of semiconductor makers.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) fell nearly 7 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded its stock to "equal-weight", citing deteriorating prices for some products and uncertainty over a joint venture with Toshiba Memory.

The decline came after South Korea's main KOSPI index fell 1.4 percent, largely weighed down by a more than 5 percent drop in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's shares following an analyst's report suggesting the memory chip "super cycle" would soon fade.

Micron Technology fell 4.2 percent, while Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) slipped 2.4 percent.

"We're looking at a mixed bag," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"The market is looking at rest of the world and seeing it's a little bit soft, while the early read on holiday sales has been pretty good. So on the consumer side that's looking good."

Adobe Analytics said Cyber Monday is expected to drive $6.6 billion in internet sales, which would make it the largest U.S. online shopping day in history.

At 9:40 a.m. ET (1440 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 11.84 points, or 0.05 percent, at 23,569.83, the S&P 500 was up 2.08 points, or 0.08 percent, at 2,604.5.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.36 points, or 0.01 percent, at 6,889.52.

Seven of the 11 major S&P indexes were higher, with telecom and financial sectors leading the gainers.

Energy stocks were among the laggards as oil prices slipped, with U.S. crude easing from two-year highs on expectations of increased output.

Time Inc (NYSE:TIME) was the second most traded stock, up 9 percent after media company Meredith (NYSE:MDP) said it would buy the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines in a $1.84 billion deal.

Meredith was up nearly 11 percent.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley and his Minneapolis counterpart Neel Kashkari are expected to make appearances later in the day with markets now firmly pricing in a rise in official interest rates next month.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,246 to 1,215. On the Nasdaq, 1,248 issues rose and 1,161 fell.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Patrick Graham and Sriraj Kalluvila)