* Oil up on forecasts of steep draw in U.S. crude stocks
* General Mills falls as sales miss estimates
* Nvidia, AMD higher after rating upgrades
* Indexes up: Dow 0.44 pct, S&P 0.36 pct, Nasdaq 0.45 pct
(Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 20 Gains in financial stocks pushed the Dow
to a record high and just 20 points short of 20,000, a level it
has never touched.
Goldman Sachs, which was up 2.2 percent, gave the
biggest boost to the blue-chip index.
Wall Street extended a recent rally on Monday but finished
the session short of earlier highs as risk aversion set in
following the killing of Russian ambassador to Turkey in Ankara
and a truck attack in Germany.
"2016 is ending with tragic incidents in Turkey and Germany,
but investors have become so fast in digesting bad news, and
this explains the resilience in financial markets," said Hussein
Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.
U.S. stocks have been on a tear since the Nov. 8
presidential election, with the S&P rising nearly 6 percent on
bets that President-elect Donald Trump's plans for deregulation
and infrastructure spending will boost the economy.
"We're looking at a higher opening today but the lack of any
major economic news and the fact that market shrugged off
Monday's events means stocks will drift in an upwards trend,"
said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard
Financial in New York.
At 9:42 a.m. ET (1442 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average
was up 87.78 points, or 0.44 percent, at 19,970.84.
The S&P 500 was up 8.26 points, or 0.36 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was up 24.33 points, or 0.45
percent, at 5,481.78.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, with the
financial index's 0.87 percent rise leading the
Oil prices edged higher on forecasts of a steep draw in U.S.
crude oil stocks that could indicate a global oversupply is
starting to shrink.
The dollar hit a 14-year high as the yen fell after the Bank
of Japan stuck to its ultra-loose monetary policy and the euro
weakened following deadly attacks in Germany and Turkey.
General Mills fell 2.4 percent to $60.80 after the
Cheerios cereal-maker's quarterly results missed expectations.
BlackBerry rose 3.6 percent to $7.99 after the
Canadian smartphone maker's adjusted profit beat analysts'
Nvidia was up 4.2 percent at $106.04 after
brokerages Goldman Sachs and Mizuho raised their price targets
on the chipmaker's stock.
Advanced Micro Devices was up 3.8 percent at $11.38
after Mizuho raised upgraded the stock to "buy".
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,827
to 830. On the Nasdaq, 1,668 issues rose and 676 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 19 new 52-week highs and no new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 86 new highs and nine new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil
D'Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)