FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
The Dow and S&P 500 traded at record highs on Monday after a key economic report came close to matching estimates.
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As of 3:20 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 18.2 points, or 0.11%, to 16735, the S&P 500 advanced 0.22 point, or 0.01%, to 1923 and the Nasdaq Composite dipped 11 points, or 0.26%, to 4232.
The Dow and S&P 500 capped May at all-time closing highs. However, trading volume was light as Wall Street entered its traditional summer doldrums, leaving some to question the conviction of the gains.
The month kicked off with promising data from China. The country's official purchasing manager's index rose slightly to 50.8 in May from 50.4 in April. The data suggest the manufacturing sector in the world's second-biggest economy is expanding at a slightly faster rate -- still, though, it remains close to the flat-line.
"...as we all fear a pronounced China slowdown, the markets are taking the news positively," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.
A slight downward revision to a gauge of eurozone factory activity, coupled with tepid German inflation data, also had some analysts heightening their expectations that the European Central bank could unleash a bond-buying program at its meeting Friday.
On the U.S. front, the Institute for Supply Management corrected its closely-watched manufacturing gauge twice, causing some confusion on Wall Street. The final correction showed the metric rose to 55.4 in May from 54.9 in April. Economists forecast a reading of 55.5. Readings above 50 point to expansion, while those below indicate contraction.
The report comes ahead of a slew of data on the labor market, capped with the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, due out on Friday.
On the corporate front, a handful of drug companies, including Merck (NYSE:MRK), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), revealed promising studies on immunotherapy treatments aimed at melanoma.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell after announcing a series of software updates at its developers conference.
Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 3 cents, or 0.03%, to $102.74 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.57% to $3 a gallon. Gold rose $1.50, or 0.11%, to $1,247 a troy ounce.