US stocks ended higher Monday to kick off the first trading session in August, as investors watched an increase in manufacturing activity around the world, along with stimulus negotiations in Washington. The S&P 500 SPX,
won 0.7% to finish around 3,295. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
reached 236 points, or 0.9%, to finish at 26,664, based on preliminary figures. The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
rose 1.5% to 10,903, setting a new intraday and closing record on Monday. Investors were supported by the Institute for Supply Management report that the production meter rose to a value of 54.2, the highest value in 15 months. Any number over 50 means an increase in industrial activity. Interrupted negotiations in Congress on a new coronavirus aid package continued to draw attention amid concerns that the US recovery could suffer a serious setback without additional stimulus funds.