Technology gains drive Nasdaq composite to an all-time high

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rose for the second consecutive day Monday with technology companies, retailers and household goods companies in the lead. Indexes of technology companies and smaller, more U.S.-focused companies both hit all-time highs.

Major technology companies including Google’s parent company, Alphabet, made solid gains. Apple rose as it previewed new features and software updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Microsoft edged higher after it said it will buy the coder platform GitHub. Facebook fell, however, on new privacy concerns.

Retailers including Target, Walmart and Under Armour rallied, as did Amazon. Energy companies fell as the price of oil continued to slide.

After an up and down week last week, the S&P 500 index, a market benchmark used by many index funds, is on its first winning streak in three weeks. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite finished at a record high, above a mark it set March 12, while the smaller Russell 2000 surpassed a record it set last week.

Last week investors reacted to political turmoil in Italy and rising trade tensions as the U.S. continued to hold talks with Chinese officials and placed tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from Europe, Mexico and Canada.

Stocks have wobbled in the last few months as investors worried that tariffs and other barriers to trade will reduce economic growth and corporate profits. But Wall Street has mostly treated the tough talk and proposed tariffs as a negotiating tactic. Invesco Chief Global Market Strategist Kristina Hooper said the U.S. crossed an important dividing line last week when, after months of talks, its aluminum and steel import duties went into effect.

“It appears that will lead to some significant retaliatory tariffs,” she said. “Markets seem to treat it as if it’s just rhetoric and it’s just a bargaining tool, and my view is that that is foolhardy.”

The S&P 500 climbed 12.25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,746.87. The index rose 1.1 percent Friday after a strong jobs report. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 178.48 points, or 0.7 percent, to 24,813.69. The Nasdaq composite gained 52.13 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,606.46.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 5.39 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,653.37.

Apple climbed 0.8 percent to $191.83 and Alphabet gained 1.6 percent to $1,153.04. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices added 3.1 percent to $14.85. Microsoft rose 0.9 percent to $101.67 after the company said it will pay $7.5 billion in stock for GitHub. Around 27 million software developers around the world use GitHub to share code and build businesses.

Among retailers, Target gained 4.9 percent to $76.35 and Walmart picked up 2.9 percent to $85.42 after it agreed to sell an 80 percent stake in its struggling Brazilian business.

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