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Overnight Markets: Tech stocks lead Wall Street higher

Overnight Markets: Tech stocks lead Wall Street higher

Wall Street climbed on Monday, led by the technology sector, amid sustained optimism on the prospects for US-China trade relations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 175 points, or 0.7%, to 25,239, the S&P 500 added 18 points, or 0.68%, to 2,725 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 84 points, or 1.15%, to 7,348. Both the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq closed above their 100-day moving averages for the first time since October.

Tech and internet stocks were propelled on high expectations for Alphabet Inc’s quarterly results, announced after the bell. Yet in after-hours trading, Google parent’s shares declined more than 2%, despite its fourth-quarter revenue and profit beating Wall Street’s expectations.

Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp each added 2.7% and were the top boosts to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

Tech shares were also supported by the continued optimism regarding a possible trade truce between the US and China. It will remain in focus as a March 1 deadline to avoid an increase on tariffs on Chinese imports looms.

S&P 500 industrial stocks posted the second-highest percentage gain among sectors, advancing 1.3%.

Allergan Plc shares dropped 3.8% after the FDA approved Evolus Inc’s cheaper version of blockbuster Botox. Evolus shares jumped 11.8%.

Shares of Ultimate Software Group Inc surged 19.7% after the HR software provider announced that it had agreed to be acquired in a deal valued at about $11 billion.

Shares of pizza chain Papa John’s International Inc. surged 9% after a $200 million investment by activist investment firm Starboard Value LP.

Tesla Inc.’s stock rose 0.2% after the electric auto manufacturer announced it would acquire Maxwell Technologies Inc. in a deal that would value the energy-solutions provider at $217.9 million.

On the data front, US factory orders declined by 0.6% in November, faster than expected by economists.

Stocks in Japan and Australia were mixed on Tuesday in morning session as most other major Asian markets remained closed for public holidays.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 erased earlier gains to decline 0.13%, while the Topix index added 0.08%. In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200 advanced 2.33% as the heavily weighted financial subindex added 4.75%.

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