U.S. Stocks Log Third Straight Session of Gains as Tech, Industrial Sectors Rally

By Alexander Osipovich and Riva Gold Features Dow Jones Newswires

A rally in technology and industrial shares lifted U.S. stocks Monday, boosting major indexes to a third consecutive session of gains.

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Growth in corporate earnings and signs of economic strength have helped mitigate investors' concerns about the Trump administration's woes in recent sessions, some analysts said. That helped many view last week's drop as a buying opportunity.

Of the 95% of S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far for the first quarter, 75% have beat earnings-per-share estimates, according to FactSet.

"It's quite encouraging how we bounced back from that wobble last week," said Ian Williams, strategist at brokerage Peel Hunt. "It underlines very strong bottom-up corporate earnings performance across all major developed markets...that's been a big factor offsetting geopolitical concerns," he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 89.99 points, or 0.4%, to 20894.83. The S&P 500 added 12.29 points, or 0.5%, to 2394.02, within 10 points of its record close on May 15. The Nasdaq Composite gained 49.91 points, or 0.8%, to 6133.62.

Technology stocks in the S&P 500 climbed 1%. The sector suffered its worst day since Brexit during last week's selloff, which was spurred by fears the administration would fail to deliver corporate-friendly policies. On Monday, shares of Dow component Cisco Systems rose 38 cents, or 1.2%, to $31.59.

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Agreements between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. on business deals and potential investments valued at $300 billion boosted a range of companies. Shares of Boeing added 2.91, or 1.6%, to 183.67, while Lockheed Martin climbed 4.24, or 1.6%, to 277.03 after the two countries signed arms agreements that could be worth more than $100 billion. Blackstone Group surged 2.01, or 6.7%, to 31.88 after Saudi Arabia agreed to commit $20 billion to the private-equity giant's new infrastructure fund.

Shares of Ford Motor rose 23 cents, or 2.1%, to 11.10 after Jim Hackett was named Ford's new chief executive.

U.S. crude rose 0.8% to $50.73 a barrel, its highest settle in a month ahead of Thursday's meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, where many expect an extension to ongoing production cuts.

"I think $40-60 [a barrel] is a reasonably good sweet spot markets are comfortable with," said Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist at Federated Investors.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.254% from 2.243% on Friday. Yields rise as prices fall.

Gold for May delivery gained 0.6% to close at $1260.70 an ounce.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell less than 0.1%. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.4%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.9% to its highest close since 2015, while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.7%, ending at a new record.

Write to Alexander Osipovich at alexander.osipovich@dowjones.com and Riva Gold at riva.gold@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 22, 2017 18:11 ET (22:11 GMT)