Stocks traded higher yesterday, the first session of February, as Wall Street appeared to shake off concerns about a speculative retail trading mania that largely drove the market’s worst weekly sell-off since October last week.
A measure of U.S. manufacturing remained robust at the start of the year, though pandemic-related supply chain disruptions are restraining production and driving up prices. The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of factory activity eased to a still-elevated 58.7 in January from 60.5 a month earlier. Readings above 50 indicate manufacturing is expanding. The group’s index of prices paid for raw materials rose to the highest since April 2011.
U.S. construction spending raced to a record high in December as historically low mortgage rates powered outlays on private projects. The Commerce Department said that construction spending increased 1.0% to $1.5 trillion, the highest level since the government started tracking the series in 2002.