June 4, 2018 / 2:42 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Technology stocks lead Wall Street rally

* Microsoft to buy GitHub for $7.5 bln Merck gains on latest cancer drug data

* Whirlpool rises as Credit Suisse upgrades to “buy”

* Indexes gain: Dow 0.76 pct, S&P 0.40 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct (Updates to open)

By Medha Singh

June 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday led by gains in technology shares and Friday’s robust jobs data, which gave investors heightened confidence that the U.S. economy remained strong.

Apple rose 1 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

Microsoft rose 0.3 percent after saying it would buy privately held coding website GitHub Inc for $7.5 billion to expand its position among software developers.

The S&P technology index was 0.4 percent higher and tech-laden Nasdaq opened highest since March 13, when it hit a record.

The three main indexes were rising for the second consecutive session after Friday’s data showed jobs and wage growth for May beat expectations, with unemployment rate falling to an 18-year low.

Concerns that bullish economic numbers will lead to faster rises in interest rates and relatively lower future growth have sent U.S. stocks on a tailspin on several occasions this year. But investors said they did not find Friday’s data concerning.

“We’re seeing continued enthusiasm and a strong follow-through after Friday’s blockbuster numbers which bolsters the argument that the future is looking very bright,” Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey said.

At 10:08 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 188.32 points, or 0.76 percent, at 24,823.53, the S&P 500 was up 10.86 points, or 0.40 percent, at 2,745.48 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 16.02 points, or 0.21 percent, at 7,570.35.

Ten of the 11 main S&P indexes were trading higher.

Boeing rose 1.5 percent, the biggest boost to the Dow, after the planemaker said it would partner with French aerospace firm Safran SA to make and service aircraft parts.

Finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies, on Saturday, vented anger over the Trump administration’s metal import tariffs, ending a three-day meeting with a stern rebuke of Washington and setting up a heated fight at a G7 summit that begins on Friday in Quebec.

Investors have been worried about a global trade war after the U.S. imposed 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs on Mexico, Canada and the European Union after temporary exemptions expired.

Among other stocks, Merck gained about 2.5 percent after latest data showed the company’s cancer drug Keytruda improved survival as a stand-alone treatment for a type of lung cancer.

Whirlpool rose 2.6 percent after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to “buy”.

Facebook dipped 0.9 percent on a New York Times report that claimed the company had allowed Apple and other major device makers “deep” access to users’ personal data.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.24-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 35 new 52-week highs and four new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 138 new highs and 17 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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