U.S. stocks keep climbing after manufacturing data

New York (July 1) The S&P 500 was on track for a record close and the Dow Jones Industrial Average once again moved within shouting distance of 17,000, as a manufacturing index showed the strongest level of new orders since the end of last year.

The markets kicked off the second half of 2014 even as the headline numbers on the ISM manufacturing data and Markit’s PMI index narrowly missed expectations.

The S&P 500  SPX +0.80%    gained 12 points, or 0.6%, to 1,972.60, scaling an intraday record high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average  DJIA +0.92%    shot up 123 points, or 0.7%, at 16,950.76. The Nasdaq Composite  COMP +1.25%    rose 49 points, or 1.1%, to 4,457.48.

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Marc Doss, regional CIO for Wells Fargo Private Bank said that economic data so far point to a rebound in the U.S. economy.

“After a terrible first quarter, we are seeing a rebound in housing, manufacturing. The economy is growing but slowly enough for the Fed to keep rates low for a while. This environment is very favorable for equities,” Doss said.

U.S. manufacturers remained on a second-quarter hot streak as new orders for cars, computers, chemicals and other products climbed to the highest of 2014, according to a survey of industry executives.

The final Markit reading of U.S. manufacturing conditions in June totaled 57.3, compared to a preliminary reading of 57.5, the company said Tuesday. Despite the slight decline, this is still the highest reading of the index since May 2010.

Outlays for U.S. construction projects rose 0.1% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $956.1 billion, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.7% increase.

Ahead of the U.S. reports, two separate manufacturing PMIs from China showed improvement in June, but manufacturing activity in the euro zone slowed.

Investors will also pay attention to June car sales figures to assess the health of U.S. consumers.

General Motors Co.  GM +3.47%   shares rose 2.9% as the car maker reported its U.S. car and light truck sales rose 1% in June to 267,461 vehicles.

Ford Motor Co.  F -0.23%   shares dropped 0.5% after the company said U.S. vehicle sales fell 6% to 222,064 in June.
Shares of Netflix Inc.  NFLX +7.24%    rallied 5.7% after Goldman Sachs equity analysts upgraded the stock to a buy, from neutral.

Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc.  URBN -1.45%    were down 1.8% after analysts at Wedbush downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform, citing risks of a slowdown in the retailer’s Anthropologie unit.