US stocks move higher following signs of trade progress

US stocks move higher following signs of trade progress
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2019, file photo specialist Anthony Rinaldi, left, and trader Michael Urkonis work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Monday, Nov 25. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks moved higher in early trading on Monday over renewed optimism for a trade agreement and several blockbuster deals.

China issued new guidelines late Sunday for protecting intellectual property, which has been a key concern for foreign investors and a sticking point in negotiations to end the damaging trade war. President Donald Trump, on Friday, said the “China deal is coming along very well.”

Investors are also starting the week with several big deal announcements. Charles Schwab is buying rival TD Ameritrade for about $26 billion. French luxury group LVMH is paying $16.2 billion for Tiffany.

Technology stocks were the biggest winners in the early going. Nvidia rose 3.4% and Intel gained 1.3%. Many of the companies in the tech sector are sensitive to swings in trade sentiment because they rely on China for sales and supply chains.

Health care companies and a wide range of retailers also made solid gains.

Energy stocks lagged the market, along with more defensive sectors such as real estate and utilities.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.76% from 1.77% late Friday.

The latest signs of progress for trade negotiations open a week that is relatively light on economic and earnings reports. Consumer confidence and new home sales data are expected Tuesday. The Commerce Department will report third-quarter GDP on Wednesday.

The latest round of corporate financial results nears its end this week. Computer and printer maker HP releases its results on Tuesday and Deere reports on Wednesday. More than 95% of the companies in the S&P 500 have already reported, according to FactSet.

U.S. markets will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% as of 10 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 122 points, or 0.4%, to 27,998. The Nasdaq rose 0.9%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 1%.

European and Asian markets moved higher.

BROKERING A BUYOUT: TD Ameritrade rose 3.3% after rival discount broker Charles Schwab agreed to buy it for $26 billion. The blockbuster deal was accelerated by massive disruption in the online brokerage industry. Competitive pressure has already forced the companies to make it free for customers to trade U.S. stocks online.

Charles Schwab fell 1%.

PROPOSAL ACCEPTED: Tiffany rose 5.9% after accepting French luxury group LVMH’s $16.2 billion offer. LVMH will add the iconic New York jeweler to its portfolio of brands which include Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Bulgari.

SUSPENDED LICENSE: Uber fell 1.3% after London’s transit authority refused to renew the ride-hailing service’s license to operate. It’s the latest chapter in Uber’s rocky history with London transport officials, who subjected the San Francisco-based company to ever tighter scrutiny over concerns about passenger safety and security.