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Mercados

US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs on merger deals, vaccine hopes

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* Nvidia climbs on $40 bln deal for chip designer Arm

* Pfizer, BioNTech expand late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trial

* Oracle surges on report of partnering with TikTok parent

* Indexes up: Dow 0.96%, S&P 1.35%, Nasdaq 1.97% (Updates to market open)

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s major indexes climbed on Monday on a boost from technology stocks while signs of progress in developing a COVID-19 vaccine and a spurt of multi-billion dollar deals also brightened the mood.

Nvidia Corp jumped 9.0% on plans to buy UK-based chip designer Arm from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp for as much as $40 billion, in a deal set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape.

The Philadelphia SE chip index rose 2.6%. The tech index added 2.4%, more than any other major S&P sector.

Oracle surged 4.3% to near record highs after sources told Reuters that the cloud services firm beat Microsoft in the battle for the U.S. arm of TikTok with a deal structured as a partnership to navigate geopolitical tensions.

Microsoft Corp erased premarket losses to rise 1.7%.

“Wall Street always rewards growth,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh.

“That’s why these deals are exciting, because if you put two companies together, by definition, you’re going to have inorganic growth, but you’re going to see growth.”

The S&P 500 is coming off of two straight weeks of losses as investors sold heavyweight technology shares that had powered the benchmark index to record highs in a dramatic recovery from its March lows.

On Monday, Amazon.com rose about 1.6% after the online shopping giant said it is hiring 100,000 more workers in its latest job spree for the United States this year - to keep pace with e-commerce demand that jumped during the pandemic.

Apple Inc, Facebook.com and Google-parent Alphabet Inc rose between 1.4% and 3%.

At 9:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 266.26 points, or 0.96%, at 27,931.90, the S&P 500 was up 45.18 points, or 1.35%, at 3,386.15. The Nasdaq Composite was up 214.34 points, or 1.97%, at 11,067.89.

Global equities also got a lift on Monday after drugmaker AstraZeneca resumed its British clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, one of the most advanced in development.

Pfizer Inc gained 1.1% after the drugmaker and German biotech firm BioNTech SE proposed to expand their Phase 3 pivotal COVID-19 vaccine trial to about 44,000 participants.

Later this week investors will focus on the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting before the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential elections.

Gilead Sciences Inc slipped 1.1% as it said will acquire biotech company Immunomedics Inc for $21 billion, a move that will strengthen its cancer portfolio by gaining access to a promising drug.

Shares of Immunomedics more than doubled in value.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 4.59-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 10 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Maju Samuel)

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