November 25, 2019 / 7:49 PM / 11 days ago

US STOCKS-Trade optimism fuels S&P, Nasdaq to records

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* U.S.-China 'very close' to trade deal - report

* Tiffany jumps after $16.2 bln buyout offer from LVMH

* TD Ameritrade rises on $26 bln deal with Charles Schwab

* Dow up 0.51%, S&P 500 up 0.63%, Nasdaq up 1.23% (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

Nov 25 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes climbed to new record highs on Monday as signs indicated the United States and China were moving closer to a trade truce, while a host of merger deals also helped buoy sentiment.

A Chinese state-backed tabloid said Beijing and Washington were "very close" to an initial pact, and lifted trade-sensitive semiconductor stocks, including Applied Materials Inc, up 3.98% and Lam Research Corp, which gained 2.42%. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index jumped 2.32% and was on pace for its best day in just over three weeks.

Nvidia Corp rose 4.59% and paced the gains on the chip index as Morgan Stanley upgraded its shares to "overweight" from "equal weight".

The report came on the heels of comments over the weekend by a top U.S. official that an agreement was still possible by the end of the year, dampening worries the negotiations could spill over into 2020.

"Any optimism on the trade front is always welcome," said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt in Atlanta.

"Hopefully what is taking place is a signal that without a derailment coming into the end of the year, from a trade perspective, everything else seems to be somewhat intact and you can tack on incremental positives, whether it is M&A, or macroeconomic data."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 142.01 points, or 0.51%, to 28,017.63, the S&P 500 gained 19.52 points, or 0.63%, to 3,129.81 and the Nasdaq Composite added 104.78 points, or 1.23%, to 8,624.66.

Apple Inc rose 1.18% as the top boost to the S&P and Nasdaq and the second-biggest lift to the price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Gains on Monday were broad with only the defensive consumer staples and utilities S&P sectors in the red. Tech gains helped push the Nasdaq up by more than 1 percent, with the group on pace for its best day since Nov. 1.

Tiffany & Co jumped 6.29% and was the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 as the luxury jeweler agreed to a sweetened $16.2 billion deal to be acquired by France's LVMH.

U.S. discount brokerage TD Ameritrade Holding Corp was up 6.03% after larger rival Charles Schwab Corp said it would buy the company in an all-stock deal valued at about $26 billion. Schwab rose 1.19%.

EBay Inc gained 2.05% after the e-commerce major said it would sell ticketing unit StubHub to ticket reseller Viagogo for $4.05 billion in cash.

Major averages on Wall Street have reached a series of new highs recently on hopes for progress of a trade deal and third-quarter corporate earnings came in better than lowered expectations.

Failing to participate in the advance, Uber Technologies slipped 1.44% as the ride-hailing company was stripped of its license to carry paying passengers in London for the second time in just over two years.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.96-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.17-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 35 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 119 new highs and 51 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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