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Tech, Megacap Growth Shares Boost Wall St; Twitter Surges

  • Twitter soars after Elon Musk reveals 9.2% stake
  • Starbucks falls amid plan to halt stock buybacks
  • Defensive sectors weak, utilities biggest decliner
  • Indexes up: Dow 0.3%, S&P 0.81%, Nasdaq 1.9%

April 4 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes rose on Monday, boosted by megacap tech and growth stocks and a surge in Twitter after Elon Musk revealed his stake in the company, amid cautionary signals in the bond market and talk of more sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Gains were relatively concentrated as the financial sector fell, as did defensive groups such as utilities and healthcare.

Shares of Twitter surged 27.1% after Tesla Inc Chief Executive Musk revealed a 9.2% stake in the micro-blogging site, making him its largest shareholder. Shares of other social media companies also rose.

Tesla shares rose 5.6% after the company on Saturday reported record electric vehicle deliveries for the first quarter.

"A lot of the news we are seeing today is generally positive for technology," said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 103.61 points, or 0.3%, to 34,921.88, the S&P 500 gained 36.78 points, or 0.81%, at 4,582.64 and the Nasdaq Composite added 271.05 points, or 1.9%, at 14,532.55.

Along with Tesla, gains in Apple Inc, Inc and Microsoft Corp gave boosts to the S&P 500.

However, seven of the 11 S&P 500 sectors were weaker, with utilities and healthcare both falling about 0.8%.

The S&P 500 growth index gained 1.7% while the S&P 500 value index dipped 0.1%.

In the bond market, the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yield ticked up on Monday and the 2-year/10-year yield curve remained inverted. The curve inversion is seen as a harbinger of a recession in the next two years or so.

"All this talk about an inverted yield curve and what that may be predicting in terms of possible economic slowdown, that puts a premium on growth stocks again," said Chuck Carlson, CEO of Horizon Investment Services in Hammond, Indiana.

Stocks have rebounded in recent weeks after a rocky start to the year amid concerns about the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy to fight inflation and the war in Ukraine. The S&P 500 is down about 4% so far in 2022, after being down as much as 12.5%.

Investors remained concerned about the Ukraine crisis, which has led to a spike in commodity prices that has worsened the outlook for already high inflation.

Global outrage spread on Monday at civilian killings in northern Ukraine, where a mass grave and tied bodies shot at close range were found in a town taken back from Russian troops. The deaths are likely to galvanize the United States and Europe into additional sanctions against Moscow.

In company news, Starbucks Corp shares fell 3.7% after former CEO Howard Schultz announced the suspension of the company's stock repurchasing program. 

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies such as Alibaba jumped after China proposed revising confidentiality rules involving offshore listings. 

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.32-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.74-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 51 new highs and 59 new lows.

About 11 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 13.5 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf in New York, Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Richard Chang

Source: Reuters

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