U.S. stocks closed higher Monday, the first trading day of the month, helped by a decline in the dollar index.
The U.S. dollar index lost half a percent for a sixth-straight day of declines, its first since the one ended in early April. Earlier, the index hit its lowest since January 2015.
“What you’ve got going on is the dollar has been weak (and) rotation into beaten-down, more economically-sensitive sectors,” said Jonathan Lamensdorf, managing director and portfolio manager at Highland Capital Management.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 117 points higher, withGoldman Sachs contributing to most of the gains. Consumer discretionary and financials led all S&P 500 sectors higher. The major averages had their best day in nearly 3 weeks on Monday after ending April with their worst week since February.
“We saw some selling Thursday and Friday so just a bit of a rebound (today),” said Adam Sarhan, CEO of Sarhan Capital.
The euro topped $1.15 to its highest since Aug. 26 and the yen hit fresh highs against the dollar, going back to Oct. 2014.
The dollar index was last about half a percent lower, with the euro near $1.152 and the yen at 106.46 yen against the greenback.
Gold hit a high of $1,306 earlier in the session, its highest level since Jan. 22, 2015. Futures for June delivery settled up $5.30 at $1,295.80 an ounce.
U.S. crude oil futures settled down $1.14, or 2.48 percent, at $44.78 a barrel.
The major economic data for the week is the nonfarm payrolls report, due Friday.
“I think the market is now going to obviously shift to the economic data and probably less emphasis on earnings as the earnings season winds down,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.
In economic news, ISM manufacturing for April was 50.8, down from 51.8 in March. Construction spending for March rose 0.3 percent.
“It’s going to take time for manufacturing to turn the corner,” said Ryan Sweet, director of real-time economics at Moody’s Analytics.
“ISM still north of neutral threshold, 50, is somewhat encouraging,” he said.
The final Markit U.S. manufacturing PMI fell to 50.8 in April from 51.5 in March.
Over the weekend, China’s official manufacturing PMI was 50.1 in April, down from 50.2 the prior month, while the services read was 53.5 in April, compared with 53.8 in March.
Separately, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said in a Reuters report Sunday the Fed may need more powers to provide emergency funding to securities firms in times of extreme stress.
European stocks closed mostly higher, while the Nikkei 225 lost 3.1 percent. Markets in London, Hong Kong and mainland China were closed for a holiday.
In a speech Monday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in a Reuters report that low interest rates are not harmless but they are the symptom, not the cause, of an underlying problem across major economies.
The S&P 500 closed up 16.13 points, or 0.78 percent, at 2,081.43, with consumer discretionary leading all 10 sectors higher.
The Nasdaq composite closed up 42.24 points, or 0.88 percent, at 4,817.59.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, declined to close near 14.7.
Roughly two stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 969 million and a composite volume of nearly 3.8 billion in the close.
Reuters contributed to this report.