Microsoft, Apple lift Wall Street as investors await stimulus


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Microsoft says looking to buy TikTok's U.S. operations

Apple about $30 a share away from hitting $2 trillion market cap

White House, Congress resume talks over relief deal

McKesson up after earnings forecast raise

Indexes up: Dow 0.84%, S&P 0.74%, Nasdaq 1.37%

Updates to early afternoon

By Sagarika Jaisinghani and Medha Singh

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Monday as a rebound in multi-billion dollar deals, including Microsoft's pursuit of TikTok's U.S. operations, lifted sentiment as efforts to hammer out a coronavirus relief bill resumed.

Microsoft MSFT.O jumped 4% on saying it would push ahead with talks to buy the U.S. operations of Chinese-owned TikTok after President Donald Trump reversed course on a planned ban of the short-video app.

Apple Inc AAPL.O gained for a second straight session following stunning quarterly results and announcing a four-for-one stock split. At its current share price of about $437, the tech giant is about $132 billion - or around $30 a share - short of hitting $2 trillion in market capitalization.

Tech .SPLRCT far outpaced gains among the six of 11 major S&P sectors trading higher.

"Everyone realizes that tech is the place you want to be right now but from market's standpoint, breadth matters," said Shawn Cruz, manager of trader strategy at TD Ameritrade in Jersey City, New Jersey.

"You want to see banks, industrials do well and that's a pretty good sign of things to come if those sectors are performing."

A rally in tech-related stocks and historic stimulus have lifted the S&P 500 to within 3% of its peak, but faltering macroeconomic data and a gridlock on more government stimulus have made investors cautious again.

Congressional Democrats and Trump administration officials resumed talks aimed at reaching a relief bill on Monday afternoon after missing a vital deadline last week to extend benefits to tens of millions of jobless Americans.

The Labor Department's monthly employment report is due on Friday, on the heels of last week's weekly jobless claims data that showed a recovery in the job market appeared to have stalled in late July.

"This Friday, no matter what comes out of the report, people are going to say 'but last week things got worse.' Everyone thought we were going to glide past the reopening and that got repriced last week," Cruz said.

At 12:51 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 221.05 points, or 0.84%, at 26,649.37, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 24.07 points, or 0.74%, at 3,295.19. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 147.69 points, or 1.37%, at 10,892.96.

With the U.S. corporate earnings season now past its half-way mark, a record number of companies have beaten dramatically lowered estimates, but the second quarter is still set to be the low point for earnings this year.

Varian Medical Systems Inc VAR.N jumped about 22% after a $16 billion buyout by Germany's Siemens Healthineers SHLG.DE, while Kansas City Southern KSU.N added 2.4% on a report that a group of buyout investors were considering a takeover bid in a deal of about $20 billion.

Drug distributor McKesson Corp MCK.N gained 5.6% after boosting its full-year earnings forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 1.58-to-1 on the NYSE and 1.84-to-1 on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 33 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 118 new highs and 13 new lows.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Anil D'Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila)

((; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2256;))

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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