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Tech stocks help push Wall Street higher

Sentiment on Wall Street got an additional boost after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro dismissed reports that the Trump administration was considering delisting Chinese companies from US stock exchanges as “fake news.”

Concerns related to those reports had sent the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to a more than three-week low on Friday.

“This idea of using different types of levers that impact trade negotiations is something that we will get accustomed to,” said Phil Blancato, chief executive officer of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management in New York.

US-listed shares of Chinese firms Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Baidu Inc rose 0.8 per cent and 1.5 per cent, respectively.

The next round of high-stakes trade talks between the world’s two largest economies is scheduled for October.

Wall Street’s main indexes are on course to end September with the weakest quarterly performance so far this year, rattled by a host of factors including an escalation in US-China trade tensions, the inversion of an important part of the US yield curve and political turmoil in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.36 per cent to end the day at 26,916.83 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.50 per cent to 2,976.73.

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.75 per cent to 7,999.34.

For the month, the S&P 500 rose 1.7 per cent, the Dow added 2.1 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.5 per cent.

For the third quarter, the S&P 500 and Dow moved up 1.2 per cent, while the Nasdaq dipped 0.1 per cent.

Merck & Co Inc gained 1.5 per cent as it presented promising data for its Lynparza cancer drug, which it developed in partnership with Britain’s AstraZeneca PLC.

Newell Brands Inc jumped 2.9 per cent after SunTrust Robinson Humphrey upgraded the household goods maker to “buy.”

Investors this week will focus on economic reports, including a key jobs report and the September ISM purchasing managers index (PMI). August’s PMI data showed a contraction in the manufacturing sector.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.45-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.28-to-1 ratio favoured advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 18 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 31 new highs and 117 new lows.

Volume on US exchanges was 6.2 billion shares, compared to the 7.2 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.


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