The markets climbed higher on Monday, extending last week’s gains, as traders eyed upbeat economic data and a smattering of corporate news.
As of 1:12 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 115 points, or 0.77%, to 15037, the S&P 500 gained 11.7 points, or 0.7%, to 1667 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 33.5 points, or 0.92%, points to 3694.
The markets capped the week with solid gains last week, as fears about Syria faded to some extent and traders grew slightly less concerned about the extent at which the Fed is likely to pare back its vast bond-buying program later this month.
Monday was off to a solid start on the back of strong data from Asia. China’s exports soared 7.2% in August on a year-to-year basis, widely beating estimates that they would rise 5.5%. Imports climbed 7%, missing estimates they would rise 11.3%.
The data suggest the world’s second-biggest economy may be able to dodge a much-feared “hard landing.” Indeed, Nomura told its clients it sees “moderate upside risks” to its third-quarter gross domestic product estimates. Still, the Japan-based investment bank believes the recovery might not be sustainable.
Meanwhile, Japan saw its second-quarter GDP revised up to an annual rate of 3.8% from 2.6%. The Bank of Japan has embarked on an aggressive easing program aimed at dramatically ramping up growth and increasing inflation in a bid to shake off a decades-long deflation trap.
The U.S. data docket is light on the day, but traders will get a reading on consumer debt conditions in afternoon.
On the corporate front, Koch Industries unveiled plans to buy Molex (MOLX) for $38.50 a share in a $7.2 billion deal. BlackBerry (BBRY) shares rallied on a report from The Sunday Times that Prem Watsa was mulling a bid for the embattled smartphone maker.
In commodities, U.S. oil futures fell 35 cents, or 0.32%, to $110.20 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slid 0.99% to $2.826 a gallon. Gold slipped $3.20, 0.22%, to $1,384 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.34% to 2793, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.4% to 6521 and the German DAX rose 0.02% to 8277.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 soared 2.5% to 14205 and the Chinese Hang Seng jumped 0.57% to 22750.