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updated: 10/1/2012 12:57 PM

Stocks jump following expansion in manufacturing

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Associated Press

U.S. stocks jumped on Monday as growth in manufacturing provided evidence that the economy may be picking up, or at least not getting any worse.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 118 points to 13,554 as of 1 p.m. Eastern.

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The gains came after news that U.S. manufacturing grew in September for the first time in four months. Stocks had already been up in morning trading, but the gains accelerated after the report was released by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers.

A gauge of manufacturing employment rose following a decline in August. That's a hopeful sign that the government may report employment gains when it releases its monthly survey of the job market in Friday.

Also Monday, the government said U.S. builders spent more on home construction in August, the latest positive sign for the housing market.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 11 points to 1,452. The Nasdaq composite rose eight points to 3,124.

The market's gains were widespread. All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose. Energy stocks advanced the most, 0.7 percent.

Of the 30 stocks in the Dow, the top three gainers were Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and American Express. BofA was up 26 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $9.08. JPMorgan rose 94 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $41.41. American Express rose $1.25, or 2.2 percent, to $58.11.

Monday is the first day of trading of the fourth quarter, and the early gains were a welcome change of pace from the way the last quarter ended. U.S. indices fell on Friday for the fifth day out of the previous six. Monday was only the third day since Sept. 17 that the S&P 500 has posted gains.

Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial, said investors believe that the news about the economy has stopped getting worse. Besides the U.S. manufacturing news on Monday, she noted that recent data from China suggests that manufacturing has improved there as well.

"The numbers were still weak, but they were not as bad as before," Krosby said. "So that was a positive backdrop for the market."

Wendy's Co. fell 24 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $4.29 after a Janney Capital Markets analyst lowered his rating on the stock, saying there are seeing signs that the hamburger chain's revenue won't be as strong as expected.

Sprint Nextel Corp. fell 20 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $5.32 after Raymond James downgraded the shares because of the stock's recent rise.

Markets around Europe rose. An audit of 14 Spanish banks showed the lenders need an extra $77.6 billion in capital. That's roughly what was expected, and well within the amount Madrid can get from fellow European countries.

A slight improvement in a survey of the euro zone's manufacturing sector also helped.

However, credit rating agency Moody's might downgrade Spain's debt to junk status this week. That's likely to limit enthusiasm in Europe until the Moody's decision is known.

Germany's DAX stock index rose 1.5 percent, France's CAC-40 was up 2.4 percent, and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.4 percent. Spain's Ibex was up 1 percent.

Markets in China, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed for holidays. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell after a closely watched survey showed confidence in the economy weakening.

The euro rose to $1.290.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell slightly to 1.624 percent.

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