* Facebook hits record high after results
* HomeAway surges after Expedia’s buyout offer
* Finance stock gain on chances of Dec rate hike
* Investors await Friday’s monthly jobs report
* Indexes up: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.20 pct, Nasdaq 0.13 pct (Updates to open)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Nov 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks indexes moved higher on Thursday morning, boosted by strong results from Facebook and as financial stocks rose on the possibility of a rate hike next month.
Facebook shares rose 5.3 percent to a record high of $109.44 after the company’s quarterly results beat estimates. The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
Facebook also helped the S&P information technology sector notch the highest gains among the 10 major S&P sectors.
Investors are also awaiting Friday’s crucial monthly nonfarm payrolls data to gauge if the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates in December, a likelihood Fed Chair Janet Yellen alluded to on Thursday.
“It’s going to be a quiet day ... as people are going to be squaring positions and getting set up,” said Matthew Tuttle, chief executive of Tuttle Tactical Management in Stamford, Connecticut.
“I think tomorrow’s going to be where the real action is.”
At 9:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 48.5 points, or 0.27 percent, at 17,916.08.
The S&P 500 was up 4.28 points, or 0.20 percent, at 2,106.59 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 6.72 points, or 0.13 percent, at 5,149.20.
Six of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher. The financial sector rose 0.38 percent, with Goldman Sachs’ 0.7 percent rise the biggest influence on the Dow.
Stocks have rallied since the Fed signaled last week that a December rate hike was still on the table, yet the ongoing debate over when the central bank will end an era of near-zero interest rates has added to investor uncertainty.
Data on Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims last week remained at levels consistent with a fairly healthy labor market. The report follow data on Wednesday that suggested the economy was strong enough to support higher rates.
In corporate news, HomeAway surged 23 percent to $39.49 after Expedia said it would buy the vacation rental site for $3.9 billion. Expedia was up 2.7 percent at $137.77.
Qualcomm fell 9.5 percent to $54.65 after giving a lower-than-expected profit forecast for the first quarter.
Celgene fell 5 percent to $120.80 after it posted its slowest revenue growth in five quarters.
Whole Foods slumped 4.9 percent to $29.24 after an unexpected drop in quarterly same-store sales.
FireEye sank nearly 20 percent to $23.38 after the cybersecurity company cut its full-year revenue forecast.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,449 to 1,299. On the Nasdaq, 1,238 issues rose and 1,117 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 12 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 39 new highs and 36 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)