US stocks jump as tensions with North Korea appear to ease

FILE - This Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, file photo shows the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks are rallying early Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, as investors breathe a sigh of relief following the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea a week earlier. Technology companies and banks are making some of the largest gains as all 11 Standard & Poor’s 500 industrial groups move higher. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks rallied Monday as technology companies and banks helped companies regain a lot of the ground they lost last week, although the calm that has defined the market this year wasn't quite restored.

Almost 90 percent of the Standard & Poor's 500 index finished higher. Technology stocks outpaced the rest of the market following a strong report on the state of Japan's economy. Last week, rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea sent stocks to some of their biggest losses in 2017. That eased Monday after officials said fighting is not imminent.

"What the market really reacted negatively to on Thursday was Trump's somewhat incendiary comments about 'fire and fury,'" said Dave Lafferty, chief market strategist of Natixis Global Asset Management. "The administration sort of walked back Trump's comments over the weekend."

But while stocks climbed, investors weren't ready to loosen their grip on some traditionally safe investments. Bond prices slipped only by a small amount and gold finished a little lower, while silver prices rose.

The S&P 500 jumped 24.52 points, or 1 percent, to 2,465.84. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 135.39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 21,993.71. The Nasdaq composite added 83.68 points, or 1.3 percent, to 6,340.23. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies climbed 20.08 points, or 1.5 percent, to 1,394.31.

Among technology companies, Apple added $2.37, or 1.5 percent, to $159.85 and Microsoft picked up $1.09, or 1.5 percent, to $73.59. After two days of losses, Nvidia jumped $12.44, or 8 percent, to $168.40 as chipmakers made outsize gains.

Bond prices turned lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.22 percent from 2.19 percent late Friday. That helped banks, as higher bond yields mean higher interest rates and greater profits on mortgages and other loans.

Bank of America climbed 56 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $24.42 and JPMorgan Chase gained $1.07, or 1.2 percent, to $92.49.

U.S. crude oil lost $1.23, or 2.5 percent, to $47.59 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, shed $1.37, or 2.6 percent, to $50.73 a barrel in London. Energy companies finished with modest losses.

Numerous companies used the weekend to complete deals.

Retailer Target is buying a delivery logistics company to help it offer same-day delivery service to in-store shoppers. The company did not say how much it will pay for Grand Junction, a firm that connects retailers with about 700 delivery companies around the country that pick up items from distribution centers and take them to customers. It is already testing same-day delivery at a New York store.

Target stock climbed 76 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $55.79. Amazon.com did even better as it rose $15.31, or 1.6 percent, to $983.30.

VF Corp., which owns North Face, Vans and other brands, said it will buy work clothes maker Williamson-Dickie for $820 million. Its stock added $1.92, or 3.1 percent, to $63.50.

Equipment rental company Neff said it received a buyout offer worth $25 per share, or $596 million. It did not say who made the offer, but Neff said its board has decided the new offer is superior to a bid from H&E Equipment Services that the company accepted last month. H&E Equipment has the right to match the new offer. Neff climbed $4.15, or 19 percent, to $26. H&E's offer valued Neff at $21.07 a share.

H&E Equipment lost 66 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $20.93.

Drilling technology developer Tesco said it will be acquired by drilling contractor Nabors Industries in an all-stock deal. The companies said Tesco is being valued at $4.62 a share. Tesco added 50 cents, or 12.8 percent, to $4.40. Nabors lost 16 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $6.64.

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of popular television series such as "Scandal" and "Grey's Anatomy," will leave ABC and make shows for Netflix under a new contract. Financial terms were not disclosed. Netflix, which already spends billions of dollars a year on programming, has recently started shelling out more money for new shows. Last week it bought comic book publisher Millarworld, its first-ever acquisition.

Netflix lost 40 cents to $171.

Fiat Chrysler climbed after Automotive News reported that a Chinese car maker offered to buy the company. It did not identify that company and said Fiat Chrysler rejected the offer because it wasn't high enough, but investors hoped another bid would come. Fiat Chrysler stock gained 99 cents, or 8.5 percent, to $12.60.

Gold fell $3.60 to $1,290.40 an ounce. Silver added 5 cents to $17.12 an ounce. Copper dipped 1 cent to $2.90 a pound.

The dollar rose to 109.63 yen from 109.04 yen. The euro fell to $1.1782 from $1.1824.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 4 cents to $1.58 a gallon. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.61 a gallon. Natural gas slid 2 cents to $2.96 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Germany's DAX jumped 1.3 percent and the CAC 40 in France gained 1.2 percent. In Britain, the FTSE 100 index added 0.6 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 1.4 percent and the South Korean Kospi rose 0.6 percent. Japanese stocks fell sharply as investors played catch-up after an extended holiday weekend. The Nikkei ended 1 percent lower.

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AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/marley%20jay

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