January 22, 2018 / 7:30 PM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St touches records as Senate deals to end shutdown

* Biotechs Bioverativ, Juno jump after big deals

* Validus gains after AIG agrees to buy reinsurer

* Dow up 0.25 pct, S&P 500 up 0.48 pct, Nasdaq up 0.67 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon, changes byline)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Monday as each of Wall Street’s main indexes touched a record intraday level after U.S. senators struck a deal to end the federal government shutdown.

U.S. senators voted to move forward on legislation that would reopen the federal government until Feb. 8. Funding legislation cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate and was expected to pass a full Senate vote promptly, allowing government to re-open.

“The only way politics affects what the market does is if they end of having a negative impact on the economy and corporate earnings and so far that hasn’t been the case,” said Michael Arone, Chief Investment Strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

“The market has been more than willing to ride the tailwind of better global growth and higher corporate earnings, not only in the U.S. but globally.”

Earnings growth of 12.4 percent is expected for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data. Of the 55 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Monday morning, 80 percent have topped expectations, well above the 72 percent beat rate for the past four quarters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 65.67 points, or 0.25 percent, to 26,137.39, the S&P 500 gained 13.41 points, or 0.48 percent, to 2,823.71 and the Nasdaq Composite added 48.93 points, or 0.67 percent, to 7,385.31.

Halliburton Co climbed 6.06 percent after posting a much bigger-than-expected quarterly profit in the fourth quarter, benefiting from a shale-driven surge in U.S. oil production.

The Nasdaq biotech index rose 2.83 percent and was on pace for its best day since June 21 after a flurry of merger activity in the sector with French drugmaker Sanofi and U.S.-based Celgene splurging a combined total of more than $20 billion.

Shares in U.S. hemophilia specialist Bioverativ soared 61.69 percent after Sanofi agreed to buy the company for $11.6 billion.

Juno Therapeutics jumped 26.74 percent after Celgene agreed to buy the biotech for about $9 billion in cash.

In other M&A news, AIG said it would buy reinsurer Validus Holdings for $5.56 billion, sending the target’s shares up 44.18 percent.

Industrial stocks were one of the few laggards, as woes continued for General Electric, down 0.82 after BofA-Merrill Lynch downgraded its stock. GE fell below $16 for the first time since 2011 and is down nearly 8 percent for the year.

Shares of Netflix Inc, a major contributor to the recent stock rally, were up 2.25 percent ahead of its quarterly results after market closes.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.38-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.10-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 107 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 181 new highs and 14 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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