US stocks ended mildly higher Monday as U.S. new orders for manufactured goods in March turned positive.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 46.34 points, or 0.26 percent, to 18,070.40. The S&P 500 advanced 6.20 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,114.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 11.54 points, or 0.23 percent, to 5,016.93.
New orders for manufactured goods in March increased 2.1 percent to 476.5 billion U.S. dollars, following seven consecutive monthly decreases, reported the U.S. Department of Commerce Monday.
Analysts believed that the data might signal the manufacturing sector is gaining strength despite the headwind of a stronger dollar.
The market, however, focused mainly on the April official jobs report due Friday.
At the annual meeting of the Columbus Economic Development Board, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said that raising interest rates does not seem appropriate until next year due to the weak first-quarter U.S. economy.
Overseas stock markets increased broadly Monday. European equities posted solid gains, with German benchmark DAX index at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange rising 1.44 percent, as strong economic data in the eurozone among other positive elements pushed investors into a buying mood.
On corporate news, shares of McDonald's fell 1.71 percent to 96. 13 dollars apiece Monday after the company's chief executive Steve Easterbrook unveiled turnaround plan.
"Today we are announcing the initial steps to reset and turn around our business," Easterbrook said in a statement. "As we look to shape McDonald's future as a modern, progressive burger company, our priorities are threefold - driving operational growth, returning excitement to our brand and unlocking financial value."
The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, increased 1.18 percent to end at 12.85 on Monday.
In other markets, oil prices lost Monday as traders continued to worry about abundant global supplies of crude oil. The U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, fell 22 cents to close at 58.93 U.S. dollar a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The U.S. dollar fell against most major currencies on Monday after a Federal Reserve official lowered expectations for the first Fed rate hike this year. In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.1140 dollars from 1.1192 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 120.10 Japanese yen, lower than 120.28 yen of the previous session.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose ahead of the release of U.S. economic data.
The most active gold contract for June delivery surged 12.3 dollars, or 1.05 percent, to settle at 1,186.80 dollars per ounce.