NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks closed drastically higher on Monday to kick off the week on better-than-expected Chinese exports in August as well as encouraging mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the United States.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140.62 points, or 0.94 percent, to 15,063.12 points. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock Index added 16.54 points, or 1.00 percent, to 1,671.71 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index leapt 46.17 points, or 1.26 percent, to 3, 706.18 points.
"For now, the short-term trend remains positive from late August as part of a bigger period of consolidation since early August," Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners Inc, commented Monday in a note.
China's exports rose 7.2 percent year on year to 190.61 billion U.S. dollars in August, up 2.1 percentage points from the growth in July, according to Chinese customs figures released Sunday. The latest figure also exceeded market expectations.
Meanwhile, active corporate M&A recently added positive sentiment to the market. Shares of Molex, a manufacturer of electronic interconnectors, jumped 31.66 percent to 38.63 dollars after the company agreed to be acquired by Koch Industries.
Verizon Communications Inc., the largest U.S. wireless company, agreed last Monday to acquire 45 percent stake of Verizon Wireless owned by Vodafone Group Plc for 130 billion dollars in both cash and stock.
Concerns over Syria continued to pose uncertainties to the market, as U.S. Congress resumed session on Monday after a summer recess and would debate a potential U.S.-led military attack against Syria.
On the economic front, U.S. consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 4.4 percent in July, according to the Federal Reserve. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent, while nonrevolving credit rose at an annual rate of 7.4 percent.
San Francisco Fed President John Williams said in a speech Monday that the Fed should consider investors' irrational actions on asset prices when evaluating policies.
The market focus has been on the Federal Reserve's upcoming policy meeting scheduled for Sept. 17-18.
The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that the country's employers added 169,000 jobs in August, fewer than market expectations of 180,000 jobs, raising some doubts over whether the U.S. central bank should curtail its massive bond buying programs soon.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, decreased 1.39 percent to end at 15.63.
In other markets, crude prices went down Monday on profit- taking. Light, sweet crude for October delivery dropped 1.01 dollars, or 0.91 percent, to settle at 109.52 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Meanwhile, Brent crude for October delivery fell 2.4 dollars, or 2.1 percent, to close at 113. 92 dollars a barrel.
Gold future for December delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 0.2 dollar to settle at 1, 386.7 dollars per ounce on Monday.
The U.S. dollar fell against most major currencies Monday. In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.3259 dollars from 1.3181 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound went up to 1.5701 dollars from 1.5634 dollars.