(Corrects to show Morgan Stanley comment on Warner Chilcott in paragraph 11 refers to only one of the company’s products)
* Manufacturing sector expands more than expected
* Exxon’s stock jumps as results beat estimates
* Amazon falls 7 percent, weighs on Nasdaq
* Dow up 0.9 pct, S&P up 1.1 pct; Nasdaq up 0.8 pct
* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to midday)
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Wall St rose on Monday after closing its worst month in almost a year as U.S. manufacturing expanded the most in six years and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) beat earnings estimates.
The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index showed the sector grew in January at a faster rate than expected. The report followed strong manufacturing data from China, Australia and the euro zone. [ID:nN01363414] and [ID:nLDE6100W3]
Exxon’s stock rose 2.7 percent to $66.12 after the largest U.S. oil company reported natural gas products boosted results at its exploration arm. [ID:nN01189745]. The S&P energy sector index .GSPE gained 2.4 percent.
The S&P 500’s 1 percent advance comes after three weeks of back-to-back losses.
Tom Forester, portfolio manager at Forester Value Fund in Libertyville, Illinois, said the market was bouncing from an oversold condition and the better-than-expected ISM reading still must translate into real growth.
“Whether this is still inventory replenishment or whether this is hoping for future growth, we’ll see,” he said. “I think the jury is still out as to whether we actually get the growth.”
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 95.00 points, or 0.94 percent, to 10,172.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 11.38 points, or 1.06 percent, to 1,085.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC added 16.38 points, or 0.76 percent, to 2,163.73.
Shares of industrial materials companies gained on the strong global manufacturing data, with aluminum company Alcoa Inc (AA.N) up 3.5 percent at $13.17, and U.S. Steel Corp (X.N) adding 4.5 percent to $46.41. The Dow Jones Industrials metals and mining index .DJUSIM rose 4.2 percent.
In January’s pullback, the materials and technology sectors were the biggest losers.
The rebound was more muted on the Nasdaq as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) fell 7.3 percent $116.31 after the online retailer all but waved the white flag in a dispute with publisher Macmillan that could lead to the online retailer raising prices on some of its e-books. [ID:nN31156514]
The Nasdaq’s gain also was curbed by Warner Chilcott WCRX.O, whose shares fell 7.2 percent to $25.36 after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “equal weight” from “overweight,” saying one of the pharmaceutical company’s largest products may not be safe from generic competition. [ID:nSGE6102KS]
Reaction to U.S. President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget proposal was muted. Investors expressed concern about the size of the budget deficit, but were as yet unclear about which elements of the president’s proposed budget will make it into law.
The president’s proposed budget projected the deficit soaring in 2010 to a post-World War Two high of $1.56 trillion — or 10.6 percent of gross domestic product — but falling to half that level by the time his term ends in 2012. His budget proposal is subject to change by Congress. [ID:nN31157907].
Meanwhile, a top European Union official said Greece’s fiscal cutback plans were ambitious but achievable, relieving some of the anxiety that drove investors away from risky assets, including stocks, in recent weeks. [ID:nLDE6100QW] (Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)