* Precision Castparts jumps after Berkshire deal
* Disappointing China data boosts stimulus hopes
* Twitter up after NFL deal, CEO buys shares
* IBM up after Buffett comments
* Indexes up: Dow 1.3 pct, S&P 1.2 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
Aug 10 (Reuters) - Wall Street was up more than 1 percent on Monday, bouncing back sharply from last week’s steep lows, buoyed by optimism around China and Greece, and as Warren Buffett’s latest billion-dollar deal showed the M&A boom was alive and well.
Disappointing data out of China boosted hopes for additional stimulus from Beijing, while Greece and international creditors could wrap up a multi-billion euro bailout accord by Tuesday.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it would buy Precision Castparts in a deal valuing the company at $32.3 billion. Precision Castparts’ shares jumped as much as 19.4 percent to $231.47, while Berkshire Class B shares fell 1.4 percent to $141.60.
“The market took their cues from China overnight, and the Berkshire deal is another factor driving investor sentiment today,” said Aaron Clark, a portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management, which oversees about $25 billion.
With U.S. interest rates near zero for nearly a decade, debt has been cheap. But with the Federal Reserve widely expected to hike rate later this year, merger and acquisition activity has increased.
July was the seventh strongest month for global deal activity since 1980. Up to the end of July, cross-border M&A activity totaled $913.5 billion, up 23 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.
“M&A will continue to be robust because funding is still cheap (even with the proposed rate hike) and excess cash needs to be invested,” said Clark. “We are also seeing a lot of activist investor activity.”
At 12:56 a.m. ET (1656 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 223.03 points, or 1.28 percent, at 17,596.41. The S&P 500 was up 24.4 points, or 1.17 percent, at 2,101.97 and the Nasdaq composite was up 53.59 points, or 1.06 percent, at 5,097.13.
Nine the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by the energy index’s 2.3 percent hike as oil prices edged up from six-month lows.
Apple 3.3 percent rise gave the biggest boost to all three major indexes.
In other deal news, ammonia maker CVR Partners’ deal to buy Rentech Nitrogen Partners for about $533 million sent Rentech soaring 26.6 percent to $13.04.
U.S. stocks ended lower on Friday, with the Dow closing down for the seventh straight day, after solid July jobs data pried the door open a little wider for a potential rate hike in September.
The Fed has said it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy. Though the labor market has rebounded, inflation rate stays below the 2-percent target.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said economic conditions have largely returned to normal and a decision to raise interest rates should come soon.
Twitter rose 6.8 percent to $28.89 after the CEO Jack Dorsey joined other insiders in buying more shares and the company also clinched a multiyear partnership with the National Football League.
IBM rose 1.4 percent to $157.31 after Buffett’s comments on CNBC were interpreted to mean that he would be interested in buying more IBM stock.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,307 to 696. On the Nasdaq, 1,892 issues rose and 825 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 34 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 43 new highs and 69 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)