NEW YORK | Technology rebound sets Nasdaq on course for record high

NEW YORK | Technology rebound sets Nasdaq on course for record high

NEW YORK  — Technology companies are soaring Thursday as investors remain optimistic about the sector even though much of the market has been shaken by fears about the trade war with China. The Nasdaq composite is on track for an all-time high. I

ndustrial companies are also bouncing back as the market recovers most of its losses from a day ago. Software maker CA is jumping after chipmaker Broadcom agreed to buy it for $18.9 billion.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index gained 22 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,795 as of 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 212 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,912. The Nasdaq composite advanced 97 points, or 1.3 percent, to 7,813. The tech-heavy index is on track to beat the all-time high it reached on June 20.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,689.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent Wednesday as new trade threats between the U.S. and China led to big losses for industrial, energy and materials companies. Industrials regained most of their losses Thursday while basic materials makers were only a little higher and energy companies didn’t move much.

CHIP SHOPPING: CA accepted an offer from Broadcom worth $18.9 billion, or $44.50 per share. Its stock rocketed 18.5 percent to $44.10 while Broadcom, which plans to take on $18 billion in debt to pay for CA, lost 14.1 percent to $209.17.

Other technology companies also climbed. Apple rose 1.6 percent to $190.93 and Microsoft gained 2 percent to $104.04. Intel rebounded 2.1 percent to $52.25.

DEFENSE SPENDING: Defense contractors rose after President Donald Trump continued to criticize other NATO members at the group’s summit in Brussels. He said European countries should raise their defense spending and suggested in a tweet that U.S. should also keep spending more.

Several European leaders said NATO spending plans haven’t changed.  Lockheed Martin gained 1.9 percent to $312.27 and Raytheon rose 1.5 percent to $197.01.

EXPENSIVE SUBSCRIPTION: The merry-go-round of potential media deals continued as Comcast offered to buy European pay-TV company Sky for $34 billion a day after Twenty-First Century Fox increased its own offer for Sky.

Fox already owns 39 percent of Sky. While Fox and Comcast tangle over Sky, Comcast and Disney are trying to buy Fox itself. Fox recently accepted a $71 billion offer from Disney, which wants it to buy Sky. The New York Times reported Thursday that Comcast will focus on Sky and end its pursuit of Fox.

Sky’s stock rose 3.4 percent in London. In the U.S., Comcast rose 1.9 percent to $34.41 and Fox fell 1.1 percent to $47.284. Disney gained 0.2 percent to $108.22.

TRADE PAIN: Stocks around the world slumped Wednesday after the Trump administration released a list of $200 billion in imports from China that it could hit with a 10 percent tax. China said it would retaliate if the tariffs take effect, and the dispute could impair global economic growth.

Stock indexes overseas recovered some of their losses Thursday. In Paris, the French CAC 40 climbed 1 percent. Germany’s DAX added 0.6 percent and the Britain FTSE 100 rose 0.8 percent.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.7 percent. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 0.1 percent to $70.33 a barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 1.4 percent to $74.45 per barrel in London.

U.S. crude dropped 5 percent Wednesday and Brent nosedived almost 7 percent as investors worried that the trade conflict will hurt the global economy. They also expect oil supplies to increase after Libya announced that it will start exporting oil again.

Wholesale gasoline added 0.5 percent to $2.07 a gallon. Heating oil rose 1.1 percent to $2.12 a gallon. Natural gas fell 1.1 percent to $2.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.

TAKEOUT?: Papa John’s International jumped 11.9 percent to $54.06 as founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman after confirming a report that he had used a racial slur during a conference call in May.

Stifel analyst Christopher Cull said Wall Street has viewed the company as a potential sale target for some time and investors feel that’s more likely without Schnatter in charge. But since Schnatter is still is largest shareholder, Cull doesn’t think that will happen.
Schnatter owns about 29 percent of the company’s stock, and the value of his stake jumped by $54 million to Thursday to about $511 million in total.

METALS: Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,246.60 an ounce. Silver gained 1 percent to $15.98 an ounce. Copper rose 1.2 percent to $2.78 a pound after it fell to an 11-month low on Wednesday.
BONDS: Bond prices ticked higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent.
CURRENCY: The dollar rose to 112.46 yen after it jumped to 112.04 yen a day ago. The euro edged down to $1.1670 from $1.1674.

By Associated Press