NEW YORK (AFP) – US stocks charged higher early Monday as Wall Street kicked off a new month energized by strong results from oil giant ExxonMobil.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 92.95 points (0.92 percent) to 10,160.28 at 1538 GMT, as stocks bounced back from a rocky week and losses for the month of January.
The Nasdaq composite advanced 15.29 points (0.71 percent) to 2,162.64 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index added 12.10 points (1.13 percent) to 1,085.97.
The first trading in February kicked off on a positive note as ExxonMobil beat most forecasts with a quarterly profit of 6.05 billion dollars, helped by higher oil production and prices.
"Better-than-expected earnings from ExxonMobil and some encouraging manufacturing reports abroad have been supportive factors," said Patrick O'Hare at Briefing.com.
"We suspect the biggest driver is the presumption that the market is due for a bounce following the large losses of late."
The market also drew strength from economic reports showing gains in consumer income and spending as well as manufacturing activity.
US consumer spending edged up 0.2 percent in December, and personal incomes increased twice as much, 0.4 percent, the Commerce Department reported. Although the pace of consumer spending was below expectations, this was offset in part by an upward revision to November data.
A separate report from the Institute of Supply Management showed a brisk pace of manufacturing activity.
The ISM said its manufacturing index, also known as the purchasing managers index, climbed to 58.4 percent in January, the best number since 2004 and well ahead of the 50 percent that indicates growth.
"Manufacturers are pressing harder on the accelerator," said Ryan Sweet at Moody's Economy.com.
Among stocks in focus, ExxonMobil paced the winners with a gain of 2.28 percent to 65.90 dollars after its forecast-topping profits for the fourth quarter of 2009.
In finance, Morgan Stanley rallied 3.25 percent to 27.65 dollars after new chief executive James Gorman was quoted as telling the Financial Times the Wall Street bank would be hiring hundreds of new traders under an expansion plan.
Johnson & Johnson rose 0.4 percent to 63.11 dollars as the health care giant said its Cordis division reached an agreement under which Boston Scientific would pay 1.725 billion dollars to settle a patent dispute over stents. Boston Scientific fell 0.81 percent to 8.56 dollars.
Gannett meanwhile plunged 9.41 percent to 14.63 dollars after the newspaper group reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results.
Bonds retreated. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond rose to 3.664 percent from 3.609 percent Friday while that on the 30-year bond increased to 4.576 percent from 4.510 percent. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.