Closing Update: Sluggish Data Cheers Investors Expecting Summer Rate Hike

Stocks rebounded Monday as the dollar eased against other currencies and bearish data at home alleviated investor worries over the potential for upcoming interest-rate increases. Shares generally closed near their session highs, led by health care companies and closely followed by industrial and utility stocks. Almost all of the industry sectors in the S&P ended higher with the exception of material and mining stocks.

A pair of manufacturer measures helped set today's defensive tone, beginning with a larger-than-expected decline in the Empire State manufacturing index to 6.90 in March from 7.78 the month prior.

Manufacturing slowed in February according to a pair of indicators from the Federal Reserve. Industrial production increased just 0.1% last month, missing the +0.3% estimates. But January was revised sharply lower to -0.3% from +0.2% initially.

Capacity utilization fell to 78.9 from a downwardly revised 79.1 in February. The street was expecting a small increase to 79.5.

Finally, the National Association of Home Builders gauge of home builder confidence fell 2 points in March to 53.0, the third consecutive decline in this indicator. Supply chain issues and homebuyers' inability to qualify for mortgages offset falling lending rates and strength in the job market.

Here's where the U.S. markets stood at the end of day:

Dow Jones Industrial Average up 228.11 (+1.29%) to 17,977.42

S&P 500 Index up 27.79 (+1.35%) to 2,081.19

Nasdaq Composite Index up 57.75 (+1.19%) to 4,929.51


Hang Seng Index up 0.53%

Shanghai China Composite Index up 2.26%

FTSE 100 Index up 0.64%


(+) MVIS, Gets $14.5 million purchase order

(+) MPO, Reports Q4 results

(+) BLPH, FBR Capital Markets initiates coverage with outperform rating


(-) FXCM, Gives up some gains made last week on Q4 results

(-) NFLX, Downgraded to sell at Evercore

(-) DSKY, Issued a weak revenue forecast and announced $20 million share buyback

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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