Defence deals boost Wall Street

NYSE trading floor Image copyright Reuters

Shares of US financial services giant Blackstone jumped on Monday after the firm said it would invest $100m in infrastructure, with partners that include Saudi Arabia.

The deal was one of several announced during US President Donald Trump's weekend visit to the Middle East which boosted US markets.

The Dow Jones rose 0.43% to 20,894.90.

The wider S&P 500 climbed 0.52% to 2,394.03, while the Nasdaq was up 0.84% at 6,134.70.

Defence companies were among the best performing stocks after the US and Saudi Arabia agreed a $110bn arms deal.

Shares in Boeing climbed 1.6%, Lockheed Martin rose 1.6%, and Raytheon was 0.6% higher.

Shares in Blackstone, which counts Hilton hotels and craft chain Michaels Stores among its investments, jumped more than 6%.

Blackstone said on Saturday it is starting a new investment programme focused on infrastructure, to be financed by $20m from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, as well as other investors and debt.

Infrastructure has been a key talking point for Mr Trump, who says the US is falling behind when it comes to roads and other projects. He has pledged to jumpstart public and private investment in the area.

Shares in Ford climbed 2.1% after the carmaker said it had replaced its chief executive Mark Fields, following a major reshuffle.

Ford's new chief is Jim Hackett, who formerly ran the company's self-driving car division.

Oil price rises also drove energy stock prices higher.