By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, driven by gains in Facebook and a handful of healthcare stocks ahead of a highly anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Officials from both countries sought to narrow differences on how to end a nuclear stand-off on the Korean peninsula as the stage was being set for the first ever meeting between the two leaders in Singapore on Tuesday.
"No one expects anything concrete to come of the meeting ... but if the tone is positive afterwards, it won't be a headwind for stocks," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
Investors brushed off concerns surrounding the G7 meeting, in which Trump upset the allies' efforts to show a united front by backing out of a previous agreement and calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "very dishonest and weak" in his tweet.
"Markets are generally overlooking negative takeaway following this weekend's G-7 meeting," said Peter Cecchini, chief market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.
At 12:59 ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 73.98 points, or 0.29 percent, at 25,390.51, the S&P 500 was up 10.14 points, or 0.36 percent, at 2,789.17 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 26.14 points, or 0.34 percent, at 7,671.65.
The biggest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 was Sempra Energy, which surged 15 percent after two shareholders, including Elliott Management, urged a strategic review of the U.S. utility's business.
Medical device maker Boston Scientific surged 9.5 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that rival Stryker Corp had made a takeover approach for the company. Stryker was down 3.5 percent.
UnitedHealth rose 1.6 percent, providing the biggest boost to the Dow.
Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.3 percent gain in the telecom sector. AT&T rose 1.9 percent, a day ahead of a court ruling on proposed Time Warner deal.
Facebook rose 1.5 percent after Keybanc analysts said Instagram could be the company's primary growth driver.
Investors are also bracing for changes in monetary policies, with three of the world's top central banks - the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan - set to meet this week.
The Fed is almost certain to raise interest rates again on Wednesday, inching closer to a neutral policy stance, while the ECB is likely to signal on Thursday that its 2.55 trillion euro bond purchase scheme will end this year, a key move in dismantling crisis-era stimulus.
"Investors will be keenly focused on any indications from the Fed on their adherence to their rate hiking path and a possible change in forward guidance language," Cecchini wrote.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.31-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.19-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 41 new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 143 new highs and 19 new lows.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Updated Date: Jun 12, 2018 00:06 AM