Stocks closed solidly higher Monday as investors cheered a strong dose of positive earnings reports as well as economic data that showed the US economy is growing. Shares of clothing retailer Gap Inc. and flooring manufacturer Mohawk Industries both gained more than 7%. The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index came in at 60.7, well above the 50-point mark that indicates manufacturing activity is expanding, the AP reports. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook has "clearly brightened" in the United States, but the recovery remains too uneven. The S&P 500 rose 11.49 points, or 0.3%, to 4,192.66. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 238.38, or 0.7%, to 34,113.23. The Nasdaq fell 67.56 points, or 0.5%, to 13,895.12.
A mix of healthcare, industrial, and financial stocks helped lift the market. Those gains offset a pullback in technology and communication stocks, and in companies that rely directly from consumer spending. More than half of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported their results, which show earnings growth of 54% so far, according to FactSet. "In terms of earnings, we're in a good place," says Hilary Kramer, chief investment officer for Kramer Capital Research. "The good news is that we're getting excellent guidance from these companies." It's another busy week for earnings, with Merck, Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive, and CVS among the companies reporting their latest quarterly results. Investors will also get April’s jobs report on Friday.
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