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Stocks rise as oil jumps to a 2-year high; chipmakers climb

Trader Richard Scardino works on the floor of

Trader Richard Scardino works on the floor of the NYSE on Oct. 31, 2017.  Credit: AP / Richard Drew

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 mid-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 exporter of oil, and investors wondered if the tumult could constrict oil supplies and drive prices higher.

Energy companies jumped, with drilling companies making some of the biggest 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.

Doug Coté, chief market strategist for Voya Investment Management, said in the years after the global economic crisis, companies combined so they could survive. But now that the global economy is doing much better, they’re merging for different reasons.

“M&A is looking to capitalize on the growth areas, in particular technology,” he said.

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.

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