Investing.com - U.S. stocks registered solid gains at Friday’s open, with the S&P 500 breaking a three-day losing streak - its longest of the year - thanks to signs that the Chinese and European economies may be bottoming out.
Stateside, investors awaited the publication of a report on manufacturing activity, a more recent look at the American economy compared to other delayed reports released earlier.
At 9:38 AM ET (14:38 GMT), the Dow Jones gained 197 points, or 0.76%, to 26,112.78 points, the S&P 500 rose 20 points, or 0.74%, to 2,804.98, while the Nasdaq Composite traded up 49 points, or 0.65%, to 7,581.78 points.
Business surveys from China and Europe showed that the economic situation there wasn’t quite as bad as initial readings last week had suggested, even though both the Caixin and the IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index, for China and the euro zone respectively, were below the 50 level that separates growth from contraction. Stronger-than-expected retail sales and jobless data from Germany also helped to lift spirits.
The Institute of Supply Management will release its manufacturing data for February at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT) on Friday, the same time as a revision to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for February.
The look at factory activity will overshadow other reports released ahead of the open that had been delayed by the government shutdown and were mostly old news from December.
Personal spending registered its first decline in two years last December, a fact already suggested by dispiriting retail sales data, the worst in nine years, for the same month.
From the same report, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, core personal consumption expenditures, held unsurprisingly at 1.9% year on year at the end of 2018, causing little waves for a market expecting the central bank to officially announce an end to its balance sheet runoff.
The Commerce Department was able to release its January reading on personal income. While it showed its first decline since November 2015, that came after a surge in December on the back of an increase in special payments, including a special dividend from VMware (NYSE:VMW) and subsidies to farmers.
In company news, Gap (NYSE:GPS) soared around 19% after the company announced it would spin off its Old Navy business and close about 230 Gap specialty stores over the next two years.
As the earnings season came to a close, with more than 95% of the S&P 500 having reported numbers, Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) pleased investors, with shares jumping 7.7% after the company reported strong organic sales growth around the turn of the year and forecast that earnings per share will rise by over 10% in its current fiscal year.
In the doldrums, shares of Tesla NASDAQ:TSLA) sank 5.8% after Chief Executive Elon Musk admitted that the company would not be profitable in the first quarter, even as he cut more workers from the payroll for the third time this year.
Outside of equities, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against six rival currencies, edged forward 0.08% to 96.12 by 9:40 AM ET (14:40 GMT), while the yield on the 10-year Treasury advanced 3.1 basis points to 2.74%.
In commodities, gold futures fell 0.56% at $1,308.75 a troy ounce, while crude oil traded up 0.40% to $57.45 a barrel.