U.S. stocks close higher as tech rebounds

Asian shares were higher in subdued trading Monday after Wall Street ended the week barely higher as Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods sent some retai

People stand in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Monday

Big gains in technology companies sent major US stock indexes to more record high closes on Wall Street.

Thanks largely to the tech gains, the Nasdaq's 1.4% rise represented the index's biggest one-day point and percentage move since November 7; Apple jumped 2.9% in its biggest one-day advance since February, while Facebook gained 1.5% and Amazon added 0.8%.

Nasdaq's biotechnology index.NBI rose 2.5 percent in its biggest one-day gain since February while the S&P's healthcare index.SPXHC had a record-high close.

On the downside, energy (-0.7%) settled solidly lower as USA crude oil shed another 1.1% to $44.46/bbl, marking its worst level since November. Alphabet, Apple, Facebook and Netflix also performed well. The S&P technology sector.SPLRCT was up 1.4 percent after its second straight weekly decline, which was triggered by fears of stretched valuations.

Retail stocks were battered on Friday after Amazon.com's $13.7 billion deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods. Tech stocks have led the S&P 500's rally this year.

Yellen's confidence as her team raised interest rates for the third time in six months last week surprised investors who had expected more caution about the economy following a set of weak USA economic data.

Biogen shares were one of the top three S&P percentage gainers with a 3.96 per cent rise to $261.71, after it was upgraded to "neutral" from "sell" at UBS, which raise its price target to $270 from $262. "We suspect, an upholding of least one more rate hike will likely be supported", said aid Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in NY.

On the other hand, shares of Seattle Genetics (SGEN) may come under pressure after the biotechnology company said it is halting a late-stage trial of trial of vadastuximab talirine in frontline older acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,808 to 1,049.

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