US stocks move broadly higher on tech strength; Boeing drops

U.S. stocks marched broadly higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday, led by a rally in technology shares. A sharp decline in Boeing stemmed the gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Stocks are coming off their worst week since December. Still, the major indexes are enjoying gains of 9 percent or more for the year so far.

Technology stocks powered the market’s gains. Apple climbed after an analyst upgrade while Nvidia gained surged after agreeing to buy chipmaker Mellanox. Social media stocks also rose.

Stocks also got a boost from a government report that showed a slight increase in retail sales for January that beat forecasts after a steep decline in December.

Boeing’s stock slumped 6.5 percent following the second deadly crash involving the newest version of the aircraft maker’s popular 737. Despite Boeing’s decline, the industrial sector managed to eke out a small gain.

The week opened with investors still waiting for more details on any potential trade deal between the U.S. and China. Costly tariffs have hurt both nations and investors hope a deal can be struck to at least take some pressure off the global economy, which has shown signs of cooling off.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 153 points, or 0.6 percent, to 25,603 as of 1:44 p.m. Eastern Time. The S&P 500 gained 1.3 percent and the Nasdaq composite added 1.9 percent.

Major European stock indexes finished higher.
BOEING FALLS: The airplane maker is facing fallout from a second deadly crash involving its important 737 Max 8. The 737 is its most popular plane and the Max is its newest version.

Boeing’s stock has been soaring since the beginning of the year, but plunged Monday after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jetliner that killed 157 people. Back in October, another 737 Max 8 crashed in Indonesia, killing 189 people.

Authorities in Ethiopia, China and Indonesia have grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.

BANKING MERGER?: Deutsche Bank rose 5 percent following reports that it agreed to hold merger talks with rival Commerzbank.

CHIPS ON THE TABLE: Nvidia jumped 7.4 percent after the chipmaker said it will buy network transmission company Mellanox for $6.9 billion in cash.

The companies are frequent collaborators and said that together they help to power more than 250 of the world’s 500 supercomputers, including Sierra and Summit, operated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Nvidia led the broad rally in technology stocks. Apple gained 3.5 percent.

DIGGING DEEP: Transocean gained 5.7 percent after the oil driller won two new contracts from Petrobras for projects in Brazil.

FEELING GOOD: Gains in health care stocks also helped drive the market higher. Align Technology rose 5.2 percent.

ME, ME, ME: Social media companies notched gains. Facebook added 1.9 percent and Twitter picked up 2.4 percent.

BAssociated Press