By Caroline Valetkevitch
(Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended with modest gains on Monday, recovering part of last week’s losses in a session marked by cautious trading as investors reacted to mixed economic data.
A report from ISM showed the pace of manufacturing growth rose in May. Other data showed construction spending surged in April but consumer spending was unexpectedly flat.
Investors are weighing data to try to guess how soon the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said with little evidence of a rebound, the Fed is in no position to start raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.
“The things that seem to be driving the market today are a bounce-back from the selling and some pretty good economic data. But as the day has progressed, some of the enthusiasm has worn off since the debate continues as to when the Fed is going to raise rates,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
“The risk is that the Fed raises interest rates into a slowing economy.”
Eight of the 10 major S&P indexes were higher, with health, industrials and technology among sectors with the most gains.
Transportation stocks rebounded from recent losses. The Dow Jones transportation average <.DJT>, which last week came within a hair of correction territory, was up 1.1 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 29.69 points, or 0.16 percent, to 18,040.37, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 4.34 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,111.73 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 12.90 points, or 0.25 percent, to 5,082.93.
Immunogen <IMGN.O> surged more than 70 percent, leading a rally in cancer drug makers’ stocks after they presented positive data at a conference.
Bristol-Myers shares <BMY.N> jumped 2.9 percent to $66.48, giving the S&P 500 its biggest boost, after the FDA accepted its application for a combination melanoma treatment.
Intel <INTC.O> fell 1.6 percent to $33.90 and was the biggest drag on the three major indexes after the company agreed to buy programmable-chip maker Altera <ALTR.O> for $16.7 billion. Altera rose 5.8 percent to $51.68.
Amid mounting worries of a Greek default, Athens missed a self-imposed Sunday deadline to reach an agreement to unlock aid.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,630 to 1,417, for a 1.15-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,371 issues fell and 1,363 advanced for a 1.01-to-1 ratio favoring decliners. The S&P 500 posted 15 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 100 new highs and 51 new lows.
About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 6.1 billion daily average for the last five sessions, according to BATS Global Markets.
(Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Nick Zieminski)