February 1, 2010 / 10:23 AM / 10 years ago

Wall Street rallies on ISM manufacturing data, Exxon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Monday as better-than-expected data on the manufacturing sector and earnings from Exxon Mobil revived bullish sentiment after stocks closed out their worst month in almost a year.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, February 1, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Exxon’s stock gained 2.7 percent to end at $66.18 after the largest U.S. oil company reported natural gas products boosted results at its exploration arm. The S&P energy sector index rose 3 percent.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index showed the sector grew in January at a faster rate than expected, following similar surveys from China, Australia and the euro zone.

“The market is starting to become a believer again. We are starting to see good numbers like the ISM, and statistics are proving to be stronger than what the bears can resist,” said Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services in Sacramento, California.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 118.20 points, or 1.17 percent, to close at 10,185.53. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 15.32 points, or 1.43 percent, at 1,089.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 23.85 points, or 1.11 percent, at 2,171.20.

The S&P 500’s gain comes after three consecutive weeks of losses, but the broad index is still off 5.3 percent from its 15-month closing high set on January 19.

Shares of industrial materials companies gained on the strong global manufacturing data, with aluminum company Alcoa Inc up 5 percent at $13.36, and U.S. Steel Corp up 6.5 percent at $47.32. The Dow Jones industrials metals and mining index rose 6.1 percent.

In the tech sector, Apple Inc shares climbed 1.4 percent to close at $194.73, buoying the Nasdaq. The semiconductor index advanced 3.1 percent, following an analyst’s upgrade of the sector.

Cellphone chip maker Qualcomm gained 1.5 percent to $39.77 and helped lift the Nasdaq, while International Business Machines Corp rose 1.9 percent to close at $124.67 on the New York Stock Exchange. IBM ranked among the Dow’s major advancers.

In January’s pullback, the materials and technology sectors were the biggest losers.

But the Nasdaq’s advance was curbed by Amazon Inc, whose shares fell 5.2 percent to $118.87 after the online retailer all but waved the white flag in a dispute with publisher Macmillan that could lead to raising prices on some of its e-books.

Warner Chilcott fell 6.8 percent to $25.46 and also dragged on the Nasdaq after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to “equal weight” from “overweight”.

Volume was light on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.04 billion shares changing hands, well below last year’s estimated daily average of 2.18 billion. But on the Nasdaq, about 2.22 billion shares traded, above last year’s daily average of 1.63 billion.

Advancing stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 4 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, about 17 stocks rose for nearly every 10 that fell.

Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jan Paschal

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