U.S. equity markets clawed back from a 600+ point drop Friday heading into the Iowa caucuses.
The gains helped the major averages win back about a quarter of the losses suffered on Friday as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus surged. Stocks received a boost from the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing survey, which printed at 50.9, its strongest since July.
Investors shrugged off the nearly 8 percent plunge in China’s Shanghai Composite, which had been closed since Jan. 22 for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Overnight, China's National Health Commission said the coronavirus outbreak has now sickened more than 17,000 people and killed 361. In response to the outbreak, the People’s Bank of China on Sunday announced plans to inject 1.2 trillion Chinese yuan ($173 billion) into the system to cushion its blow to the economy. Monday was the first day of trading for Chinese markets, which have been closed since Jan. 22.
In the U.S., Gilead Sciences was higher after the pharmaceutical company said it is testing its Ebola drug as a treatment for the coronavirus. Other drugmakers, like Novavax and Nanoviricides, fell.
Hotels, airlines and casino operators, which have been among the hardest-hit sectors since the coronavirus outbreak, gained.
Elsewhere, Tesla shares crossed $700 for the first time after Panasonic Corp. said its joint venture U.S. battery business with the electric-vehicle maker posted its first profit. The investment firm Argus reiterated its "buy" rating and raised its price target to $808.
J.C. Penney received a non-compliance notification from the New York Stock Exchange because its share price has failed to maintain an average closing price of at least $1 over a 30-day period. The retailer, which said it is considering a reverse stock split, has six months to regain compliance before its shares are removed from the exchange.
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman was lower after receiving a double downgrade from “buy” to “sell” due to its book-to-bill ratio and organic sales growth lagging its peers.
Google-parent Alphabet rallied ahead of its quarterly results, which were due out after the closing bell.
Looking at commodities, crude oil plunged into a bear market at the second-fastest pace in seven years. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, is hugging the $50 level.
U.S. Treasurys fell, running the yield on the 10-year note up to 1.524 percent.
In Europe, Britain’s FTSE gained 0.6 percent while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC both added 0.5 percent.
Markets across Asia finished mixed despite the Shanghai Composite’s plunge. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.2 percent while Japan’s Nikkei fell 1 percent.