Data boosts U.S. stocks but drags down oil prices

Mon Nov 2, 2015 4:33pm EST
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By Sinead Carew

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Monday after mixed U.S. economic data and slightly stronger-than-expected German factory activity helped European stocks, even as weak Chinese data pushed down Asian markets and crude oil prices.

While data showed U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in October for a fourth month to a 2-1/2-year low, a rise in new orders offered hope. Also, construction spending rose in September to the highest in 7-1/2 years.

U.S. stocks were led by energy and healthcare sectors as investors bought up more risky investments and some short sellers were forced to cover bets, said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

"The upward trend that was put in place last week has continued to gain steam," said James. "I don't necessarily think there's a specific catalyst for it today. Risk appetite has clearly increased."

But he noted that the direction could easily change as more U.S. companies are due to report earnings and investors await a key jobs report this week.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 165.22 points, or 0.94 percent, to 17,828.76, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 24.69 points, or 1.19 percent, to 2,104.05 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 73.40 points, or 1.45 percent, to 5,127.15.

Activity in Germany's powerful manufacturing sector dipped last month from September but beat economists' early estimates, helping European stocks. That helped the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 stocks index close up 0.3 percent, with Germany's Dax .GDAXI ending up 0.9 percent.

China's factory activity fell for an eighth month in October, albeit at a slower pace, pointing to continued sluggishness in the world's second-largest economy.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 2, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid