US stocks edged up on Monday as investors weighed positive data from China and Germany against the fiscal cliff talks in Washington.
Market sentiment was boosted by the positive data from China and Germany, with the Dow registering a fourth straight gain for the first time in almost two months.
Over the weekend, China's government reports showed that the world second largest economy's factory output for November jumped 10.1 percent from a year earlier and 9.6 percent compared to October. Retail sales also rose to a eight-month high in the same month.
Meanwhile, Germany, the largest economy in the euro zone, saw a 0.3-percent increase in exports for October, after falling 2.4 percent in September.
But stocks gains were limited by lingering concerns about U.S. fiscal cliff.
Without major economic reports, investors continued to watch for clues from both Democrats and Republicans on the progress of the "fiscal cliff" talks. But the distrust in Congress led to a deadlock, worsening worries about the an automatic spending cuts and tax increases, which could drag U.S. economy back into recession.
Besides, the financial markets got pressured by the news that Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Saturday he would resign by the end of the year. Investors worried Monti's resignation could worsen the financial struggles in the debt- burdened country.
The Federal Reserve will start its last policy meeting for this year on Tuesday. Investors were expecting that the central bank might adopt fresh easing policies in background of fiscal cliff uncertainties.
When the market closed, the Dow Jones industrial average added 14.75 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,169.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.48 points, or 0.03 percent, to 1,418.55. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 8.92 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,986.96.