Broad tech gains help boost U.S. stocks
In this Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, people walk to work on Wall Street beneath a statue of George Washington, in New York. Technology companies and banks led stock indexes modestly higher in early trading on Wall Street, Monday. Apple, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Bank of America all rose.
NEW YORK — U.S. stock indexes drifted higher Monday, led by technology companies, to again clinch record heights. They followed the lead of European markets, which jumped after French election results raised expectations for more pro-business economic reforms.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,449, as of 10:50 a.m. Eastern time. If it holds there, it will surpass its record closing level of 2,440.35, set last Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 104 points, or 0.5 percent, to 21,489, and the Nasdaq composite jumped 76, or 1.2 percent, to 6,228.
OVERSEAS MARKETS: European shares jumped, led by the French CAC 40 after voters gave France’s new president a political majority in parliament. The vote “will lend him enough support to rapidly implement his pro-business reform program,” said Marion Amiot, senior economist at Oxford Economics. She raised her forecast for French economic growth for 2018 to 1.7 percent from 1.6 percent.
The CAC 40 jumped 1.3 percent, and Germany’s DAX rose 1.2 percent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.6 percent, the Hang Seng in Honk Kong climbed 1.2 percent and South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4 percent.
The FTSE 100 in London rose 0.9 percent as the United Kingdom opened negotiations to withdraw from the European Union.
TECH REBOUND: Technology stocks in the S&P 500 rose 1.5 percent, the largest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the index. That helped them to recover some of their sharp losses from the last week.
Apple and other industry heavyweights had been among the stock market’s biggest stars, and tech stocks in the S&P 500 were up more than 20 percent for the year until they took a sharp step down two Fridays ago. The worry seems to be that they rose too far, too quickly. Tech stocks lost about a fifth of their year-to-date gains in a little over a week.
On Monday, Apple rose $3.70, or 2.6 percent, to $145.97, and Google’s parent, Alphabet, rose $19.05, or 2 percent, to $977.67.
BUYOUT BOOST: PerkinElmer, which sells testing equipment and scientific instruments, jumped $2.98, or 4.7 percent, to $66.55 for one of the largest gains in the S&P 500 after it agreed to buy EUROIMMUN Medical Laboratory Diagnostics of Germany for $1.3 billion in cash.
A DIFFERENT BUYOUT REACTION: Energy company EQT fell $5.53, or 9.4 percent, to $53.25 for the largest loss in the S&P 500 after it agreed to buy Rice Energy for $6.7 billion in cash and stock. EQT said the deal will make it the country’s largest producer of natural gas.
Rice jumped $4.91, or 24.9 percent, to $24.60.
YIELDS: Bond prices fell, which sent yields higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.17 percent from 2.15 percent late Friday. The two-year yield climbed to 1.34 percent from 1.31 percent, and the 30-year yield ticked up to 2.78 from 2.77 percent.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.24 Japanese yen from 110.84 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.1172 from $1.1195, and the British pound slipped to $1.2753 from $1.2780.
COMMODITIES: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 20 cents, to $45.17 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, added 14 cents to $47.51.
Natural gas sank 14 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $2.90 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gold fell $7.30 to $1,249.20 per ounce, silver lost 16 cents to $16.50 per ounce and copper added 2 cents to $2.59 per pound.