US stocks lost steam and ended mixed on Monday after the better-than-expected manufacturing data and hopes from Spain gave stocks an early boost.
When the market closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 77.91 points, or 0.58 percent, to 13,515.04. The Standard & Poor' s 500 Index added 3.81 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,444.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 2.70 points, or 0.09 percent, to 3, 113.53.
Stocks got an early boost after a latest report from the Institute of Supply Management showed its monthly manufacturing index rose to 51.5 in September. It was the first time in four months for the index to stay above 50, a level indicating expansion of manufacturing expansion.
Specifically, the sub-index also showed new orders, employment and inventories were growing in the past three months, a sign that the manufacturing sector was gaining strength.
Moreover, Friday's result of an independent audit on Spanish banks continued to provide support for the market.
After stock markets closed in Europe on Friday, the stress test results of the Spanish banking system that showed the country's 14 banks need 59.3 billion euros (about 76.3 billion U.S. dollars), less than the 100-billion-euro bailout package promised by eurozone financial ministers in July.
Meanwhile, there has been speculation that the rating agency Moody's may downgrade Spain's credit again to junk status, which could lead Spain to finally require a full international bailout.
Market gains were trimmed after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the economy was continuing expanding but still too slow to lower the unemployment rate.
Bernanke defended the recently launched bond-buying program during the speech, saying that inflation was fluctuating around Fed's target of 2 percent for a long time and inflation expectations remained stable.
He also said policy makers expected that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy would remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economy strengthens, and as long as price stability is preserved, the ultra low interest rates would be held.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq turned negative as Apple shares slid more than 1 percent, dragging the whole sector down.
Financial and energy shares posted the biggest gains in Monday trading, as shares of Bank of America rose 2.4 percent to 9.04 dollars and Goldman Sachs climbed 3.2 percent to 117.29 dollars.
In addition, Google Inc. increased 0.9 percent to close at 761 dollars while Microsoft Corp. lost 0.5 percent to 29.61 dollars, which enabled Google to beat Microsoft to be the second largest technology company in the world measured by capitalization.
In other markets, the U.S. dollar traded lower against the euro on Monday after Bernanke pledged to maintain stimulus measures. In late New York trading, the euro added to 1.2886 from Friday's 1. 2855.
US crude oil price edged up on Monday on expectations of manufacturing recovery. Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose 29 cent, or 0.31 percent, to settle at 92.48 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange