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(Reuters) - U.S. stocks rallied on Monday after the United States and China put their trade differences “on hold” to work on a wider agreement, while sentiment was also boosted by the nearly $28 billion worth of merger deals.

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FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The truce sparked a broad rally, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI up more than one percent. The small-cap Russell 2000 hit a record high for the fourth straight session, though it was underperforming large caps.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday the United States and China had agreed to drop their tariff threats, while China on Monday praised a significant dialing back of tensions.

“The big news over the weekend was that a trade war has been averted, and so we had an adjustment in there, covering bets that there would be negative news coming out of the discussion,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

The S&P industrial sector .SPLRCI advanced 1.7 percent. Boeing (BA.N), which sells about a fourth of its commercial aircraft to Chinese customers, jumped 3.5 percent, the biggest percentage gainer on the Dow and lifting the blue-chip index higher.

At 3:18 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 295.18 points, or 1.19 percent, to 25,010.27, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 18.93 points, or 0.70 percent, to 2,731.9 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 29.21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,383.54.

General Electric (GE.N) advanced 2.7 percent on an $11.1 billion deal to merge its transportation business with rail equipment maker Wabtec (

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