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Dow tries for 7th day of gains, tech sector leads ahead of earnings

U.S. stocks rose fractionally Monday as Bank of America added to positive earnings momentum, and Japan's Softbank announced a $32-billion deal to buy a U.K. semiconductor giant.

Wall Street is tracking to continue three straight weeks of gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up slightly in early afternoon trading Monday, with Goldman Sachs and Home Depot contributing the most to gains and UnitedHealth leading the blue-chip index lower.

Technology stocks led the S&P gainers, up nearly roughly 0.8 percent ahead of quarterly results from IBM, Netflix and Yahoo.

Softbank announced a $32-billion all-cash deal to buy chip designer ARM, sending London-listed shares of ARM up more than 45 percent early trade. The deal marks biggest takeover of a British company since June's Brexit vote.

"Coming into today's market with the M&A announcement helps the risk-on tone," said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. "That's a positive underpinning for the markets."

The Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF opened more than 2.5 percent higher after the deal, hitting an all-time high back to 2011. The ETF is pacing for its eighth positive day in nine.

The S&P capped three weeks of more than 1 percent gains Friday, while the Dow extended its winning streak to six days with another record close. While the S&P 500 finished slightly lower Friday, the index hit a new intraday high for the fifth session in a row.

Second-quarter earnings kick into full gear this week.

Bank of America beat Street expectations on earnings and revenue Monday, with earnings per share of 36 cents versus an expected 33 cents, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

"I do think it will be more positive surprises than negative ones, and my guess is that guidance will give people a sense that we're through the worst," said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds, adding that the three-week equity rally is likely to "stick around" if earnings continue to surprise.

Following Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase last week, Bank of America is now the third big U.S. financial institution to top second-quarter profit forecasts.

Hasbro posted second-quarter earnings per share of 41 cents, versus the...