Stocks have moved mostly higher in morning trading on Monday, with tech stocks leading the way higher once again. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has jumped to a new record intraday high, while the S&P 500 has reached its best intraday level in over five months.
The major averages have given back some ground in recent trading but remain in positive territory. While the Nasdaq is up 96.95 points or 0.9 percent at 10,842.22, the Dow is up 123.38 points or 0.5 percent at 26,551.70 and the S&P 500 is up 15.07 points or 0.5 percent at 3,286.19.
Technology stocks are seeing continued strength on the day after moving sharply higher last Friday on largely upbeat earnings news.
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) are moving significantly higher after the software giant confirmed it is in talks to acquire Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok.
The statement from Microsoft comes just days after President Donald Trump revealed plans to ban TikTok in the U.S. due to national security concerns.
Tech giant Apple (AAPL) is also extending the rally seen in the previous session, jumping by 3.7 percent to a new record intraday high.
Adding to the positive sentiment on Wall Street, the Institute for Supply Management released a report showing a bigger than expected acceleration in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of July.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index rose to 54.2 in July from 52.6 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to inch up to 53.6.
“In July, manufacturing continued its recovery after the disruption caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
He added, “Panel sentiment was generally optimistic (two positive comments for every one cautious comment), continuing a trend from June.”
With the bigger than expected increase, the purchasing managers index reached its highest level of expansion since March of 2019.
The better than expected reading on U.S. manufacturing activity comes on the heels of upbeat readings on manufacturing in China and Europe.
Microsoft has helped to lead a rally in the software sector, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index surging up by 2.1 percent.
Significant strength has also emerged among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.9 percent jump by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. The index has reached a new record intraday high.
Steel, pharmaceutical and biotechnology stocks are also seeing considerable strength, while airline, commercial real estate and gold stocks have shown notable moves to the downside.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index surged up by 2.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell by 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has spiked by 3 percent, the French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index are up by 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after trending higher in recent sessions. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 2.2 basis points at 0.558 percent.
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