U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading Monday as shareholders hope for reduced trade tensions between the U.S. and China. President Donald Trump tweeted over the weekend that the U.S. could ease sanctions on Chinese firm ZTE, while Bloomberg News stated that Chinese regulators planned to take another look at Qualcomm’s purchase of rival chipmaker NXP Semiconductors.
Technology and health care companies accounted for a big slice of the market’s gains. Energy stocks also rose as crude oil prices headed higher. Banks moved higher together with bond yields.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index added 11.99 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,739.71 as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 108.53 points, or 0.44 percent, to 24,939.7. The Nasdaq composite rose 48.67 points, or 0.66 percent, to 7,451.55. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 5.01 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,611.81. The stock market is coming off its best weekly gain since early March.
U.S.-CHINA TRADE: Trump softened his tone on U.S.-China trade over the weekend, tweeting on Sunday that he would assist Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp. get “back into business” despite U.S. sanctions, saying too many jobs in China are at stake after the U.S. government cut off access to its American suppliers. ZTE’s Hong Kong-traded shares have been suspended since U.S. authorities banned it last month for seven years from importing U.S. components in a case involving illegal exports to North Korea and Iran. China’s foreign ministry responded by saying it “highly commended” the move, ahead of trade talks in Washington this week.
U.S. companies that would stand to benefit from an effort to rescue ZTE moved higher. Acacia Communications jumped 12.32 percent to $35.38.
WAITING ON CHINA: Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors got a boost as shareholders hope that Chinese regulators will reverse their stance and approve Qualcomm’s projected $44 billion acquisition of NXP. China is the final major government withholding approval of the deal. But Bloomberg News stated that Chinese regulators are reviewing the deal again.
Qualcomm rose 2.90 percent to $56.83, while NXP surged 9.77 percent to $108.68.
UP WITH TECH: The market got a boost from a pickup in technology sector stocks. Symantec gained 9.77 percent to $21.43.
NO DEAL: Xerox slid 7.69 percent to $27.85 after the company it ended its agreement to combine with Fujifilm, which would have taken majority control of the combined company. Xerox said it’s ending the deal because Fujifilm wouldn’t negotiate better terms.
TUNED OUT: Viacom fell 5.83 percent to $28.46 after CBS sued its controlling shareholder, seeking to block a deal to combine with Viacom. CBS shares added 3.20 percent to $54.20.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 7 cents to $70.77 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 25 cents to $77.37 a barrel in London.
Rising oil prices assisted lift energy stocks. Range Resources added 2.62 percent to $14.67.
BOND YIELDS: Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.99 percent from 2.97 percent late Friday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 109.51 yen from 109.30 yen on Friday. The euro strengthened to $1.1991 from $1.1945.
MARKETS OVERSEAS: Major stock indexes in Europe declined. Germany’s DAX lost 0.3 percent, while France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.2 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged 0.3 percent lower. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.5 percent higher. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.4 percent.