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US: Stocks jump to records on trade deal hopes, mergers

[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks jumped to records on Monday as revived hopes for US-China trade progress added to investor confidence following major corporate merger announcements.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to 28,066.47, up about 30 points above last week's record.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent to 3,133.64, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Index surged 1.3 per cent to 8,632.49. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also at records.

Investors took heart from a number of significant deal announcements, including mergers in the luxury and online brokerage industries.

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The market also welcomed an official Chinese announcement strengthening intellectual property protections, which could help advance trade talks with the United States.

A party-backed news outlet said the two sides were "very close" to a deal.

The ebb and flow of US-China trade talks have tugged at stocks for more than a year. A note from Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman rated the intellectual property issue "one of the most important obstacles" in the talks.

In deal news, shares of Tiffany shot up 6.2 per cent after it agreed to be acquired by luxury giant LVMH for US$16.2 billion in a transaction that bolsters the French company's position in the critical US market.

Meanwhile, TD Ameritrade climbed 7.6 per cent following an announcement that it will be bought by rival Charles Schwab in an all-stock deal valued at US$26 billion. Schwab advanced 2.3 per cent.

eBay climbed 2.1 per cent as it agreed to sell its ticket marketplace StubHub to Swiss-based rival Viagogo for more than US$4 billion in cash.

This week's calendar includes reports on consumer confidence for November and durable goods orders for October, as well as data on GDP and consumption. Markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

AFP