* Disney loses earlier gains
* Juniper down on probe into code
* Apple gives biggest boost to indexes
* Indexes up: Dow 0.33 pct, S&P 0.43 pct, Nasdaq 0.66 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Dec 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes looked set to snap a two-day losing streak on Monday, helped by gains in tech stocks, with investors taking in stride a continued slump in oil prices.
Trading volumes are expected to be relatively light this week, with stock markets operating a shortened session on Thursday and closing on Friday for Christmas.
Wall Street slumped on Thursday and Friday as weak crude prices dampened the optimism sparked by the first Federal Reserve interest rate hike in nearly a decade.
Oil prices have been sliding under continued pressure from global oversupply and tepid demand.
The S&P energy sector was headed for its fourth day of decline. Chevron was down 1.3 percent at $88.59 and was the biggest drag on the Dow.
“It’s going to be interesting to see if this market can hold up and divorce itself, at least for today, from the price of oil,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
“We’re probably going to stay in the trading range, with an upward bias.”
At 13:13 p.m. ET (1613 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 56.76 points, or 0.33 percent, at 17,185.31, the S&P 500 was up 8.72 points, or 0.43 percent, at 2,014.27 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 32.43 points, or 0.66 percent, at 4,955.51.
Although the S&P 500 touched record highs in 2015, the index is down about 2.5 percent for the year, buffeted by slowing growth in China, slump in commodities and uncertainty over U.S. interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average is down about 3.9 percent.
The Nasdaq Composite, which briefly breached its dotcom highs this year, is the only one of the three major indexes in the black, having risen around 4 percent so far in 2015.
Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.38 percent rise in the technology sector.
Apple’s 0.8 percent rise to $106.85 gave the biggest boost to all three indexes.
Microsoft was up half a percent at $54.40 after a Barron’s report on Sunday that the company’s shares could rise 30 percent over the next 18 months.
Juniper Networks was down 4.5 percent at $27.38 after Reuters reported that the U.S. government was investigating a possible back door in the networking equipment maker’s code.
Disney was down 1 percent at $106.60, wiping out earlier gains from the latest Star Wars instalment’s box office-breaking opening weekend.
“Investors are concerned with the other businesses within Disney, it’s not just Star Wars,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,872 to 1,130. On the Nasdaq, 1,641 issues rose and 1,138 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed two new 52-week highs and 16 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 31 new highs and 76 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)