S&P 500 surges 1.5% to end skid

A broadly rally led by technology companies drove U.S. stocks sharply higher Monday, giving the S&P 500 its biggest increase since late January.

The latest gains also snapped a five-day losing streak for the benchmark index, which was coming off its worst weekly stumble this year.

The S&P 500 gained 40.23 points, or 1.5 percent, to 2,783.30. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 200.64 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,650.88. The Dow bounced back after declining 242 points as shares in Boeing slumped.

The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, jumped 149.92 points, or 2 percent, to 7,558.06. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 26.99 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,548.88.

Nvidia was the S&P 500’s strongest performer after agreeing to buy chipmaker Mellanox. Apple benefited from an analyst upgrade.

Investors drew encouragement from a report showing a slight increase in U.S. retail sales for January after a steep decline in December, and from new data showing a rebound in Chinese exports this month, said Tom Martin, senior portfolio manager with Globalt Investments.

“The data that’s coming in today is at the margin at least OK; there’s no negative news,” Martin said. “People want to be in the market. Rates are low. Stocks are OK.”

Major European stock indexes finished higher.

Monday’s gains helped the market reclaim the momentum it had in January and February, when it posted the best two-month start to a year since 1991. Despite stocks posting their worst week since December last week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are showing double-digits gains for the year so far, and the Dow is just shy of a 10 percent increase.

Investors are still waiting for more details on any potential trade deal between the U.S. and China. Costly tariffs have hurt both

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