* Fed’s John Williams sees 2-3 rate hikes in 2016
* Yellen to speak later in the week
* Monsanto jumps after Bayer’s $62 bln buyout offer
* Indexes up: Dow 0.16 pct, S&P 0.04 pct, Nasdaq 0.36 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 23 (Reuters) - A rise in Apple’s stock helped boost the Nasdaq and the Dow, while the S&P 500 was little changed in late morning trading on Monday.
The benchmark Philadelphia SE Semiconductors Index was also up 1.2 percent, following a 3.2 percent rise on Friday, after a report that the iPhone maker had asked its suppliers to prepare 72-78 million units, above the market’s expectation of 65 million units.
Apple’s shares rose 1.85 percent to $96.91.
Investors are also awaiting speeches by several U.S. Federal Reserve officials this week for further clues on the trajectory of rate hikes, with Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaking on Friday.
The Fed surprised investors when the central bank’s minutes released last week opened the door to a rate hike in June, roiling financial markets.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams and his St. Louis counterpart, James Bullard, took hawkish tones in separate appearances on Monday, hinting at more than one rate hike this year.
The probability for a June rate hike rose to 30 percent on Friday from about 4 percent at the start of the week, according to CME Group’s FedWatch site.
“The market will be pretty range bound till we get a better sense of what’s happening with the Fed,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
“Right now, we’re getting a lot of cross currents from the central bank and investors are looking for more direction with Yellen speaking on Friday.”
At 11:09 a.m. ET (1509 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 28.56 points, or 0.16 percent, at 17,529.5, the S&P 500 was up 0.83 points, or 0.04 percent, at 2,053.15 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 17.02 points, or 0.36 percent, at 4,786.58.
Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy index’s 0.58 percent fall leading the decliners, after Brent prices fell 2 percent as oversupply concerns resurfaced.
The materials sector’s 1.15 percent rise led the advancers, boosted by Monsanto’s 4.7 percent jump. the U.S. seeds company received a $62 billion takeover offer from German drugs and crop chemicals group Bayer.
Tribune Publishing fell 16.4 percent to $11.90 after it rejected Gannett’s latest takeover offer. Gannett was little changed at $16.12.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,645 to 1,197. On the Nasdaq, 1,702 issues rose and 923 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed six new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 33 new highs and nine new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)