U.S. stocks gain on service sector report; Dow ends up 0.11%


Investing.com -

Investing.com - U.S. stocks shrugged off escalating tensions in Ukraine and soft factory data out of China and rose on Monday on the coattails of an upbeat U.S. service-sector report.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.11%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.19%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose 0.34%.

Cheery numbers out of the U.S. service sector painted a picture of an economy that continues to recover and will bolster corporate fundamentals moving forward.

In a report, the Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to a five-month high of 55.2 in April, from a reading of 53.1 in March, beating expectations for a rise to 54.1.

The numbers offset Ukrainian tensions and soft Chinese data.

In Ukraine, conflict between the government and pro-Russian separatists grew more widespread and intensified over the weekend, which rattled nerves on Wall Street due to concerns Washington will get dragged deeper into the chaos and stifle recovery.

Elsewhere, soft output data out of China capped gains somewhat.

A final reading of China's HSBC manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in at 48.1 April, down from a preliminary estimate of 48.3 and missing forecasts for an uptick to 48.4. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

Disappointing earnings from Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and a soft revenue forecast from J P Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) watered down gains as well.

Elsewhere, shares in retailer Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) fell after Chief Executive and Chairman Gregg Steinhafel announced plans to step down in wake of the massive data breach late last year.

While the move was not unexpected, the timing of the announcement did catch Wall Street off guard.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), up 1.55%, Visa Inc (NYSE:V), up 1.37%, and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), up 1.14%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), down 2.52%, J P Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), down 2.44%, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), down 1.60%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished mixed.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.20%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.10%, while Germany's DAXfell 0.28%. Meanwhile in the U.K., markets were close due to holiday.

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