* Yahoo loses early gains, volume high
* Dow up 0.28 pct, S&P down 0.04 pct, Nasdaq off 1.01 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday with the tech sector dragging the Nasdaq lower and keeping the S&P 500 near the unchanged mark as investors cleared the decks for Alibaba's debut planned for later this week.
Alibaba's could be the largest initial public offer in history and has seen "overwhelming" interest, meaning Yahoo's 23 percent stake could be worth more next week than it is now. Yahoo stock was falling 1.3 percent with 4.7 million shares already traded, after earlier hitting its highest in 14 years.
"Alibaba, as I understand it is going to be very heavily institutional, but retail will probably jump on board very quickly to this name," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
"Despite being a complicated company with a complicated ownership structure, it is a very compelling story and will probably do quite well here as long as it ends up being priced well."
Heavily traded Facebook and Netflix were falling nearly 4 percent each. The S&P technology sector was trading 0.5 percent lower.
Investors were also treading lightly ahead of the policy statement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, which could provide insight on the timing of an interest rate hike.
"There is a lot of wait-and-see for what happens Wednesday, if anything new happens," said Ghriskey.
The Dow Jones industrial average was rising 48.29 points, or 0.28 percent, to 17,035.8, the S&P 500 was losing 0.89 points, or 0.04 percent, to 1,984.65 and the Nasdaq Composite was dropping 46.23 points, or 1.01 percent, to 4,521.37.
The largest percentage gainer on the New York Stock Exchange was DRDGOLD Limited, rising 21.01 percent, while the largest percentage decliner was Bankrate Inc, down 14.25 percent.
Among the most active stocks on the NYSE were Bank Of America, down 0.54 percent to $16.70; Nokia Corp ADR , up 2.63 percent to $8.59; and Petroleo Brasil, up 0.85 percent to $16.52.
On the Nasdaq, Avanir Pharma, up 75.8 percent to $11.85; Yahoo Inc, down 0.2 percent to $42.79 and Apple Inc, up 0.1 percent to $101.75 were among the most actively traded.
Declining issues were outnumbering advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,954 to 1,079, for a 1.81-to-1 ratio on the downside; on the Nasdaq, 2,067 issues were falling and 666 advancing for a 3.10-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The broad S&P 500 index was posting 14 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 31 new highs and 89 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)