Stocks shrugged off conflicting data out of China and downbeat reports in Europe to log gains for the first trading day of the quarter. Investors were helped by the ISM beat and the official Chinese manufacturing survey that conflicted with the downbeat HSBC survey. Concern still remains for the US economy as it recovers in a sputtering fashion. Most investors will be focused on the March jobs numbers and their effect on the unemployment rate. Expectations are for a continued expansion in job creation.
With domestic economic data helping push aside European fears, the Dow closed up over 52 points to 13,264. The Nasdaq added 28 to 3,120 , and the S&P 500 tacked on 11 to 1,419. [Read more...]