Stocks Rise On Encouraging Economic Data

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Photogaph by Nikada Getty Images/iStockphoto

Stocks closed solidly higher on Wall Street Monday after a batch of encouraging global economic data kept investors in a buying mood.

Financial and technology companies powered much of the rally, which extended the market’s gains from last week, when the benchmark S&P 500 closed out its best quarter in nearly a decade.

In another hopeful sign, long-term bond yields rose above their recent lows, following a sharp drop last month that flashed a possible recession warning, rattling Wall Street.

Those concerns were allayed Monday as new economic data suggested a brighter outlook for the U.S. economy. A gauge of U.S. manufacturing notched a big gain in March, while a separate report showed construction spending climbed in February. Meanwhile, an economic report out of China showed growth in exports, employment and orders.

While the more encouraging data gave stocks a boost, the market could face some bumps ahead, said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

“The hurdle in the near-term is still going to be earnings,” she said. “That’s the next important phase.”

The S&P 500 gained 32.79 points, or 1.2%, to 2,867.19, notching a three-day winning streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 329.74 points, or 1.3%, to 26,258.42. The Nasdaq composite climbed 99.59 points, or 1.3%, to 7,828.91. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks picked up 16.33 points, for a 1.1% gain, to 1,556.06.

Major European stock indexes finished broadly higher.

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