By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged higher on Monday, helped by gains in Facebook and a handful of healthcare stocks ahead of a highly anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Officials from both countries sought to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula as the stage was being set for the first ever meeting between the two leaders in Singapore on Tuesday.
"No one expects anything concrete to come of the meeting ... but if the tone is positive afterwards, it won't be a headwind for stocks," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
Investors also largely brushed off tensions over the divisive G7 meeting, when Trump threw the allies' efforts to show a united front into disarray after taking aim at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and announcing that he was backing out of the joint communique.
At 11:29 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 1.23 points, or -0.00 percent, at 25,315.30, the S&P 500 was up 4.25 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,783.28 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 11.63 points, or 0.15 percent, at 7,657.14.
The biggest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Sempra Energy, which surged 15 percent after two shareholders, including Elliott Management, urged a strategic review of the U.S. utility's business.
Investors are also bracing for monetary policy changes, with three of the world's top central banks - the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan - set to meet this week.
The Fed is almost certain to raise rates again on Wednesday, inching closer to a neutral policy stance, while the ECB is likely to signal on Thursday that its 2.55 trillion euro bond purchase scheme will end this year, a key move in dismantling crisis-era stimulus.
"Investors will be keenly focused on any indications from the Fed on their adherence to their rate hiking path and a possible change in forward guidance language," Cecchini wrote.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
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