US STOCKS-Nasdaq hits record high close as traders eye M&A and stimulus

Reuters

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    * Microsoft says looking to buy TikTok's U.S. operations
    * Apple approaches $2 trillion market cap
    * White House, Congress resume talks over relief deal

 (Adds details after close)
    By Noel Randewich
    Aug 3 (Reuters) - The Nasdaq surged to a record high close
on Monday as a rebound in multibillion-dollar deals, including
Microsoft's pursuit of TikTok's U.S. operations, lifted
sentiment, and efforts to hammer out a coronavirus relief bill
resumed.
    Microsoft  MSFT.O  jumped 5.6% after it said it would push
ahead with talks to buy the U.S. operations of Chinese-owned
TikTok. President Donald Trump reversed course earlier on a
planned ban of the short-video app.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2F51LN
    ADT  ADT.N  soared over 56% on news that Alphabet's
 GOOGL.O  Google was buying a nearly 7% stake in the home
security firm for $450 million in a deal that will allow it to
provide service to customers of its Nest home security devices.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2F52P3
    Varian Medical Systems Inc  VAR.N  jumped 22% after a $16
billion buyout by Germany's Siemens Healthineers  SHLG.DE ,
while Kansas City Southern  KSU.N  gained after a report a group
of buyout investors were considering a takeover bid in a deal of
about $20 billion.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2F403Z urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2F25OF
    "The market is revolving around M&A activity possibly
picking up," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of
Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "It means CEOs are
more confident about the future. Otherwise, why would they lay
out billions of dollars?"
    Apple Inc  AAPL.O  climbed 2.5%, expanding its rally 
following stunning quarterly results and announcing a
four-for-one stock split. The tech giant is about $140 billion
short of hitting $2 trillion in market capitalization.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2F1551
    The S&P 500 information technology index  .SPLRCT  jumped
2.5%, far outpacing other sector indexes.
    Congressional Democrats and Trump administration officials
resumed talks aimed at hammering out a coronavirus relief bill
after missing a vital deadline to extend relief benefits to tens
of millions of jobless Americans.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2F50O6
    A rally in tech-related stocks and trillions of dollars in
monetary and fiscal stimulus have lifted the S&P 500 to within
about 3% of February's record high.
    
    
    The Labor Department's monthly employment report is due on
Friday, on the heels of last week's weekly jobless claims data
that showed a recovery in the job market appeared to have
stalled in late July.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  rose 0.89% to end at
26,664.4 points, while the S&P 500  .SPX  gained 0.72% to
3,294.61. 
    The Nasdaq Composite  .IXIC  climbed 1.47% to 10,902.80,
beating its previous record high close on July 20.
    With the U.S. corporate earnings season now past its
half-way mark, a record number of companies have beaten
dramatically lowered estimates, but the second quarter is still
set to be the low point for earnings this year.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2F406X
    Drug distributor McKesson Corp  MCK.N  jumped 6.5% after
boosting its full-year earnings forecast.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nASA00ZM9
    Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a
1.94-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.47-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
    The S&P 500 posted 41 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 164 new highs and 16 new lows.
    About 9.8 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges,
compared with the 10.5 billion daily average over the last 20
sessions.

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 (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Medha Singh in
Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Sriraj Kalluvila and Tom
Brown)
 ((noel.randewich@tr.com; (415) 677 2542; Reuters Messaging:
Twitter: @randewich))

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