* Chip stocks get boost from Marvell-Cavium deal
* Verizon up on broker upgrade, Wal-Mart falls on rating cut
* Time Warner falls on reports DOJ to sue over AT&T takeover
* Dow up 0.29 pct, S&P 500 up 0.11 pct, Nasdaq up 0.06 pct (Updates prices, changes comment, byline)
NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with some of the year's underperforming sectors leading the way, while high-performing tech shares were boosted by a deal in semiconductors.
With no major earnings or economic data scheduled this week, trading volumes were thin and expected to get even quieter leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and an early market close on Friday.
Verizon boosted the telecom services sector of the S&P 500 with a 2.0 percent advance to $46.34 after a Wells Fargo note highlighted the stock's valuation and said it is "an attractive yield play."
Telecoms are down 17 percent this year, compared with a 15 percent advance on the S&P 500.
"There's a bounce in telecoms, which have been the worst group so far this year," said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp in Chicago.
"There's always a chance that something disrupts the apple cart, but there's very little news and a lot of people focusing on the football games and the turkey dinner," he said, referring to the staples of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Small cap stocks rose !RIC 1/2.RUT 3/4 is invalid percent, outperforming the large-cap indexes.
Cavium touched a record high of $83.82 after larger rival Marvell said it would buy the company for about $6 billion. Cavium shares were last up 10.4 percent at $83.74 and Marvell shares rose 6.0 percent to $21.51.
The semiconductor index rose 1.1 percent and touched its highest level since the highs of the Y2K bubble.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 63.75 points, or 0.27 percent, to 23,421.99, the S&P 500 gained 2.44 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,581.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 3.36 points, or 0.05 percent, to 6,786.15.
Time Warner Inc shares slid after reports the U.S. Justice Department will sue to prevent AT&T from buying Time Warner.
Time Warner dropped 1.1 percent to $87.74.
Health stocks were weighed by a 1.8 percent drop in Merck to $54.18 and 0.9 percent fall in Bristol-Myers after Roche announced positive trial results for a competing cancer drug.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.45-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.55-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 42 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 122 new highs and 27 new lows. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Dan Grebler)