STOCKS CLOSE AT RECORD HIGHS AS DEALMAKING IS BACK ON WALL STREET

U.S. equities hit record highs on Monday as sentiment on Wall Street was lifted by news of corporate dealmaking.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 9.23 points to 23,548.42, an all-time high. The Nasdaq composite also closed at an all-time high, rising 0.3 percent to 6,786.44. The S&P 500 managed a record high, finishing at 2,591.13, up 0.13 percent.

Broadcom offered to buy fellow chip maker Qualcomm for $103 billion. If completed, the deal would be the biggest in the history of the tech sector. Reports of a potential bid first surfaced on Friday.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices also jumped on dealmaking news, while shares of Disney and 21st Century Fox also rose.

Qualcomm rose 1 percent while Broadcom rose 1.4 percent. Qualcomm’s rise helped the VanEck Vectors Semi ETF (SMH) hit an intraday record high.

“Short term, this is a positive. A takeover by Broadcom would take some stock off the market,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. “Also, an offer like that suggests Broadcom feels pretty confident about its future.”

Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Drew Angerer | Getty Images
Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The proposed deal comes after President Donald Trump said last week that Broadcom would move its headquarters to the U.S. from Singapore. However, Qualcomm is expected to resist the offer.

“I’m not sure they’ll get it for $70 [a share], but it’s clear from the press release that Broadcom really wants to buy this company,” Romit Shah, managing director at Nomura Instinet, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “Their CEO usually gets what he wants and we think ultimately they will strike a deal.

Shares of Advanced Micro Devices jumped 7.3 percent on a report that the company will team up with Intel to compete with Nvidia in the laptop gaming chip market. Intel rose 1.4 percent, while Nvidia shares gained 0.4 percent.

In other dealmaking news, 21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney, sources told CNBC. The news sent Fox’s shares flying 9.93 percent higher; Disney shares rose 2 percent.

Last week, the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite all finished at record highs, boosted by the first reports of the potential Broadcom-Qualcomm deal as well as strong Apple earnings.

Earnings season moved forward on Monday, with CVS Health, Michael Kors and Mylan among the companies that reported before the bell.

Overall, it has been a very solid earnings season. Analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note that earnings are beating estimates by 6.1 percent, with 70 percent of S&P 500 companies topping bottom-line estimates.

“At the end of the day, this comes back to being an earnings story,” said Paul Springmeyer, investment managing director at U.S. Bank’s Private Client Reserve. Corporations are consistently performing well “and that is driving the market higher.”

– https://www.cnbc.com/

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