U.S. stocks jumped sharply Monday, propelled by technology stocks that led major indexes to their highest closing values in nearly six weeks.

All three major U.S. indexes climbed for the fourth consecutive session. The S&P 500 rose 57.09 points, or 1.6%, to 3534.22—its second-highest close in history. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 250.62 points, or 0.9%, to 28837.52.

The Nasdaq Composite surged 296.32 points, or 2.6%, to 11876.26, its third-highest close. All three indexes are closing in on their early September highs after a recent stretch of volatility.

Megacap companies including

Apple

and

Amazon.com

were among the strongest performers, jumping 6.4% and 4.8%, respectively. Apple is set on Tuesday to unveil a 5G-enabled iPhone, which some investors hope could fuel the kind of sizable growth that stemmed from previous technological advancements for the iPhone.

Amazon

is kicking off its Prime Day of shopping deals Tuesday.

The robust gains build on last week’s rally, during which stocks jumped on signs that next month’s presidential election could have more of a decisive result than originally expected. National polls have showed a growing lead for former Vice President Joe Biden over President Trump.

This week, election expectations are likely to remain a focus among traders, though many will also be parsing the beginning of third-quarter earnings season. Investors are betting that the results will show corporate performance has turned a corner. With the economy continuing to slowly reopen, profits of the large companies in the S&P 500 are projected to record a drop of 20% from a year earlier, an improvement from the 25% decline anticipated at the end of June.

Other technology companies, including

Twitter

and

Facebook

also jumped, with both rallying more than 4%.

“The last two weeks were about improving market [participation]…but today it’s a day focused on technology,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist/SunTrust Advisory. “With so much uncertainty about fiscal stimulus out there, it’s natural to see rotation back into the secular growth [stocks.]”

“If you don’t get stimulus, those companies’ growth is likely to sustain,” Mr. Lerner continued.

Monday’s gains were broad. The materials sector was the only one of the S&P 500’s 11 industry groups to post a decline.

JPMorgan Chase,

Johnson & Johnson

and

Citigroup,

all of which are expected to report earnings Tuesday, ended the day higher.

This week, investors will be looking for signs from companies that cost cuts, including layoffs, are behind them, and that business leaders are confident about the quarters ahead, said Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist at Charles Schwab. He said traders also will be looking for any signs that “precautionary cash hoards may turn into dividends next year.”

“It isn’t so much about the numbers and the degree to which companies beat estimates,” Mr. Kleintop said. “It’s those words that matter more and the tone and confidence from business leaders.”

The S&P 500 continued its advance after its biggest weekly gain since early July.



Photo:

shannon stapleton/Reuters

In addition to earnings, traders also will be focused this week on any signs of progress on stimulus talks. The latest White House offer on a new coronavirus package hit resistance from Democrats and Republicans during the weekend, diminishing hopes that an agreement would be struck before the presidential election on Nov. 3.

Still, investors are weighing the possibility that a Democratic sweep of the presidency and Congress next month could lay the ground for a large stimulus package to be passed, offering additional relief to households and businesses.

“There is a good chance that we’ve overplayed the volatility due to the November election,” said Edmund Shing, global head of equity derivative strategy at

BNP Paribas.

The Federal Reserve is still “in ‘whatever it takes’ mode,” and both major parties are committed to more stimulus, though a bipartisan deal is very unlikely, he said.

Overseas, shares also climbed. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.7%. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 2.6% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 2.2%.

In commodities, U.S. oil fell $1.17, or 2.9%, to $39.43 a barrel. Gold futures gained $3, or 0.2%, to $1,922.50 a troy ounce.

The market for U.S. Treasurys was closed for Columbus Day.

The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the currency against 16 rivals, rose 0.1%.

Write to Caitlin McCabe at [email protected]

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