Stocks held onto modest gains at midday Monday following a weaker-than-expected U.S. manufacturing report.
The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 were each up 0.3%, while the Nasdaq edged up 0.1%. Volume was running below Friday’s levels on both the NYSE and the Nasdaq.
The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index slid in April to 50.8, trailing estimates for 51.5. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
The weaker-than-expected data added to uncertainty surrounding Federal Reserve interest-rate policy. The central bank held rates steady last week amid concerns about the outlook for the U.S. economy.
Retail and food stocks were among the day’s best performers. Several have gotten a boost from strong earnings reports.
Amazon.com (AMZN) rose more than 2%, building on Friday’s 10% jump following a blowout quarterly earnings report. The Internet retail giant is 12% past a 603.34 buy point of a cup-with-handle base, well out of buying range.
B&G Foods (BGS), a maker of hot sauces, jellies and other packaged foods, was up nearly 2% after rocketing 23% higher on Friday and clearing a 40.60 cup-base buy point on strong Q1 results. The stock is at a new all-time high and is still within the 5% buy zone.
Food distributor Sysco (SYY) also hit a new high Monday after climbing more than 4% on a better-than-expected quarterly earnings report. It’s extended from a rebound off support at its 10-week moving average.
Most IBD 50 stocks were higher, with Cambrex (CBM) leading the way, edging up less than 1% after paring an earlier 6% gain. The medical products stock is near the top of a buying range from a 47.03 buy point that it cleared Friday after strong quarterly earnings results.
On the downside, Gigamon (GIMO), whose products help optimize the reliability, performance and security of network infrastructure, reversed lower and was down about 2%