U.S. stocks closed higher by nearly 1 percent or more Monday, the first trading day of November, helped by gains in energy and health care stocks. ( Tweet This )
"To me this is just one gigantic performance chase. No one wants to miss the year-end rally (even after October's gains)," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group.
"A lot of the international factors that spooked the market in August are still there," he said, noting declines in Asian equities overnight.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed in the green for 2015, joining the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite in positive territory for the year so far.
The S&P 500 gained more than 1 percent to top 2,100. The last time the index crossed 2,100 in intraday trade was Aug. 18, and its last close above was on Aug. 17.
Energy closed up 2.4 percent to lead S&P 500 advancers, despite crude oil settling down 1 percent.
Health care closed up 2 percent as the second-best performing S&P sector. Analysts attributed some support to news that Ireland-based drugmaker Shire said it would buy Dyax for about $5.9 billion.
The Nasdaq 100 — which is composed of the Nasdaq's 100 largest nonfinancial firms — hit a new 52-week high but closed just shy of its record close from March 2000 of 4,704.73. The index briefly topped the record close in intraday trade.
"I think generally earnings continue to do a little better than expected," said Michael Mussio, managing director at FBB Capital Partners.
"It looks like some people are continuing to buy today into the strength," he said.
In U.S. economic news, October ISM manufacturing was 50.1, slightly beating expectations of 50.0 but posting a fourth straight month of decline, Reuters said. Construction spending rose 0.6 percent in September.
"It's good that it was positive, over 50. It hasn't collapsed," said Doug Cote, chief market strategist at Voya Investment Management. "The economy continues to move along at a moderate pace."
The final read on October manufacturing PMI hit a 6-month high at 54.1, according to Markit.
The data is "generally positive. Manufacturing data exceeded expectations ... we also had positive news on construction that points to areas of the domestic economy that are showing strength," said Ben Garber, economist at Moody's Analytics Capital Markets.
"I think we get a lot of mixed signals from the data but this data is a positive," he said.
The key report for the week is the October nonfarm payrolls report due Friday.
The U.S. dollar traded mildly lower against major world currencies, with the euro near $1.10 and the yen at 120.76 yen against the greenback.
The major averages opened little changed, with the Dow dipping into negative territory as Visa weighed. The stock closed down about 3 percent after falling more than 3.5 percent in morning trade.
The credit card issuer reported earnings that missed but revenue that slightly topped expectations. Visa also announced the purchase of Visa Europe for about $18.2 billion and authorized a new $5 billion share repurchase program.
Ahead of the open, Dow futures were up about 50 points, after Markit said the final read on October euro zone manufacturing PMI at 52.3, topping the flash and September print of 52.0.
"I think what's going on is we had some pretty good manufacturing data out of Europe and that gave futures a boost," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.