* Wall Street closed a fifth week of gains on Friday
* RenaissanceRe to buy Platinum for $1.9 bln
* Cyclical shares lead while telecom falls
* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.2 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct (Updates to mid-morning trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with major indexes hitting fresh records on the back of multiple merger deals and hopes that China will take further accommodative monetary policy action.
Equities closed a fifth straight week of advances Friday, boosted by accommodative actions from central banks in China and Europe. That factor could continue boosting markets as sources told Reuters that the Chinese leadership and central bank were ready to cut interest rates again and loosen lending restrictions. Such policy changes in the world’s second-biggest economy could spur more market gains.
“The carry-over effect from China, taken with the fact that the U.S. is pretty healthy, and you have a market with a bias to trend higher, especially on the cyclical front,” said Mike Gibbs, who helps oversee more than $500 billion as co-head of the equity advisory group at Raymond James in Memphis.
Cyclical stocks - tied to the pace of economic growth - led gains, with the S&P consumer discretionary sector up 0.6 percent. Financials rose 0.4 percent.
The weakest group was telecom, down 1.6 percent. AT&T fell 1.6 percent to $34.70 while Verizon lost 1.7 percent at $49.35 after Citigroup downgraded the stock to “neutral.” Both stocks limited the Dow’s advance.
RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd agreed to buy Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd for $1.9 billion.
BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc said it would buy Dutch drug developer Prosensa Holding NV for about $840 million including milestone payments.
Prosensa soared 61 percent to $18.43 while Platinum was up 21 percent at $74.05.
Cimatron Ltd jumped 43 percent to $8.70 on its heaviest ever one-day volume after 3D Systems Corp agreed to buy the company for $97 million. Shares of 3D jumped 7.5 percent to $37.80.
At 11:07 a.m. (1607 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average rose 10.53 points, or 0.06 percent, to 17,820.59, the S&P 500 gained 4.77 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,068.27 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.32 points, or 0.54 percent, to 4,738.29.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,787 to 1,108, for a 1.61-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,795 issues rose and 754 fell for a 2.38-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 posted 57 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 74 new highs and 36 new lows. (Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)