U.S. stocks made modest gains and set more records Monday as upheaval in oil-rich Saudi Arabia sent crude prices to two-year highs. Chipmakers and media companies climbed on deal reports while phone and household goods companies sank.
U.S. crude oil reached its highest price since 2015 after dozens of Saudi princes and senior officials and businessmen were arrested as part of a purported corruption investigation. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, and investors wondered if the tumult could constrict oil supplies and drive prices higher. Energy companies jumped, with drilling companies making big gains.
Chipmakers surged after Broadcom offered to buy competitor Qualcomm for $103 billion, which would be the largest technology acquisition ever if it’s completed. Wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile tumbled after they called off merger talks over the weekend, and reports that Sprint’s owner, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, might buy cable company Charter hammered shares of telecom giants AT&T and Verizon, which might face tougher competition.
Verizon dropped $1.89, or 4 percent, to $45.53 and AT&T slid 44 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $32.86.
Companies that make and sell household goods slumped on weak quarterly results from CVS Health and food distributor Sysco.Twenty-First Century Fox and Disney climbed after CNBC reported the two sides discussed a deal in which Disney would buy most of Fox’s assets.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.29 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,591.13. The Dow Jones industrial average added 9.23 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 23,548.42. The Nasdaq composite gained 22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,786.44. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 3.05 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,497.96.
Broadcom’s unsolicited offer values Qualcomm at $70 a share, and it would combine two companies that control about 40 percent of the market for chips used in cellphones. Qualcomm added 71 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $62.52 and Broadcom rose $3.89, or 1.4 percent, to $277.52. Qualcomm stock jumped 12.7 percent Friday on reports Broadcom was going to make an offer. Apple also rose $1.75, or 1 percent, to $174.25 as technology companies rose for the eight straight day.
Sprint fell 77 cents, or 11.5 percent, to $5.90 and T-Mobile sank $3.37, or 5.7 percent, to $55.54.
U.S. crude oil surged $1.71, or 3.1 percent, to $57.35 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, climbed $2.20, or 3.5 percent, to $64.27 a barrel in London.
With international tumult in the news, investors bought gold and government bonds. Gold rose $12.40, or 1 percent, to $1,281.60 an ounce. Silver jumped 40 cents to $17.24 an ounce. Copper climbed 4 cents to $3.16 a pound.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note slipped to 2.32 percent from 2.33 percent.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline added 4 cents to $1.83 a gallon. Heating oil rose 6 cents to $1.94 a gallon. Natural gas jumped 15 cents, or 5 percent, to $3.13 per 1,000 cubic feet.
The dollar dipped to 113.77 yen from 114.16 yen. The euro rose to $1.1606 from $1.1608.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 made a tiny gain while France’s CAC 40 shed 0.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 made a tiny gain and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.3 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost less than 0.1 percent.