(Fixes typographical error in headline)
* Defense stocks gain on U.S.-Saudi Arabia arms deal
* General Dynamics, Raytheon, Lockheed hit record highs
* Ford gains on management shake-up
* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Monday, boosted by technology shares and by defense companies, which rose after the United States and Saudi Arabia signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal.
Shares of defense firms General Dynamics, Raytheon , and Lockheed Martin all hit record highs before easing to trade up between 0.4 percent and 1.6 percent. Boeing was up 1.3 percent and the second-biggest boost to the Dow.
U.S. President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia over the weekend and sealed $110 billion in deals through which Riyadh will buy U.S. arms to help it counter Iran, with options running as high as $350 billion over 10 years.
Trump’s visit is his first foreign trip since taking office and one the White House hopes will shift the focus away from domestic controversies such as his firing of the former FBI head last week and investigations into his administration’s possible links to Russia.
Worries about the outlook for Trump’s domestic agenda causes a selloff in stocks last week.
“We’re still recovering from that scare last week. Invariably in this bull market, there’s still a lot of money on the sidelines. When the market goes down, many investors view it as an opportunity to buy the dip,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
Tech shares were the day’s best performers, with Amazon , Microsoft and Apple the biggest drivers on the S&P and the Nasdaq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 88.01 points, or 0.42 percent, to 20,892.85, the S&P 500 had gained 11.17 points, or 0.47 percent, to 2,392.9 and the Nasdaq Composite had added 43.77 points, or 0.72 percent, to 6,127.48.
While the strong earnings season and positive economic data will help provide support, the market will continue to be susceptible to political developments and what they mean for Trump’s agenda of tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending.
Ford was up 1.7 percent at $11.05 after the automaker named James Hackett as chief executive, responding to investors’ growing unease about its stock price and prospects.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.95-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.58-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 posted 45 new 52-week highs and 1 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 93 new highs and 50 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and Nick Zieminski)