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Close Update: Wall Street Rallies on Cooling Trade War Rhetoric, M&A Cheer

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Wall Street rallied on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting the highest in more than two months as investors cheered the easing of trade tensions between the U.S. and China while merger deals sparked positive sentiment that carried through the day.

Nearly all the blue chips on the Dow were in the green, with Boeing ( BA ), United Technologies ( UTX ) and Caterpillar ( CAT ) among the top gainers. Semiconductor stocks lifted the information technology sector and gave Micron ( MU ) the best advance on the Nasdaq Composite after raising its fiscal Q3 profit and sales guidance.

Positive rhetoric from both US and Chinese officials coming out of negotiations helped investors set a cheery tone from the start, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying the trade war is on hold. Industrials, a beneficiary of good trade relations between the world's biggest economies, advanced 1.5% on the S&P by the bell.

Telecoms were also up 1.5% as all 11 of the groups were higher. Health care struggled to hang on to a slim 0.1% gain. On the Dow, Merck ( MRK ) led just two of the components into the red

Equities were also propped by a host of deal news. GE's gain of 1.9% came after Wabtec (WAB) and GE Transportation merged in a deal valued at $11.1 billion. LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO) rose 5.4% after agreeing to be purchased by affiliates of Blackstone Group (BX) for $33.50 per share. Rival Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB) was up 1.9% after making a competing offer for LaSalle.

NextEra Energy (NEE) rose 2.4% after the clean-energy company said it was acquiring Gulf Power, Florida City Gas and additional assets from Southern Co. (SO) in transactions valued at $6.475 billion, including the assumption of $1.4 billion of debt. But on the downside of a busy merger Monday, Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) sank 7.9% after saying it will merge with MB Financial (MBFI) in a deal valued at about $4.7 billion. MB rallied 13%.

Here's where the markets stood by the close:

US MARKETS

Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 298.20 points (+1.21%)

S&P 500 was up 20.04 points (+0.74%)

Nasdaq Composite Index was up 39.70 points (+0.54%)

GLOBAL SENTIMENT

FTSE 100 was up 1.03%

Nikkei 225 was up 0.31%

Hang Seng Index was up 0.60%

Shanghai China Composite Index was up 0.66%

UPSIDE MOVERS

(+) SNES (+296.07%) California Department of Pesticide proposes to register ContraPest for sale, use in California

(+) INPX (+13.97) Teams up with Genwave Technologies to provide commercial clients with improved data stores

(+) INSE (+9.32%) Fiscal 2018 adjusted EBITDA unlikely to be affected by UK gaming rules changes

(+) KELYA (+7.89%) Upgraded by Northcoast Research to buy

(+) MU (+3.91%) Raises Q3 EPS and revenue outlook

DOWNSIDE MOVERS

(-) NBRV (-16.57%) Lefamulin pneumonia drug trial meets primary endpoints

(-) PLYM (-7.66%) Starts underwritten registered public offering of 4.3 million shares

(-) MYOK (-6.57%) Wedbush cuts PT by $5 to $64

(-) CPB (-2.3%) Downgraded to underperform at BofAML; PT cut at Stifel Nicolaus, Barclays

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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