landsberg bennettStocks finished higher Monday. The Dow rallied 329 points to 26,258, while the S&P 500 added 32 points to 2,867. The Nasdaq Composite was up 99 points to 7,828.

The major averages climbed on the first day of April following the best quarterly advance in a decade for the S&P 500. Investor optimism was bolstered by strong economic releases, including a report overnight that showed Chinese manufacturing activity experienced the largest monthly uptick in seven years in March. A separate release from the Institute for Supply Management showed U.S. manufacturing activity also topped expectations in March, rebounding from a two-year low the prior month. Although U.S. retail sales declined 0.2% in February, missing projections for a 0.2% gain, the January report was revised to show a larger-than-anticipated increase.

Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors closed in positive territory, with Financials surging 2.4% amid a jump in yields. Wynn Resorts was the best performing stock in the index, advancing 8.4% to $129.34 following the positive Chinese economic data. Ride-sharing company Lyft fell 11.9% to $69.01, more than erasing its 8% climb from Friday.

Breadth was positive on issues by 7:2 on the NYSE and 2:1 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE volume was more than 3.4 billion shares.

Treasuries slid following the upbeat data releases, with the yield on the 10-year note climbing 10 basis points to 2.50%. In commodities, WTI crude surged 2.4% to $61.59/barrel and touched its best level in nearly five months. COMEX gold lost 0.4% to $1,287.40/ounce.