A greater than expected increase in March manufacturing activity lifted the markets to a higher close with the Dow gaining 52 points to 13,264. Nasdaq climbed 28 points to 3119.
On the upside
The second largest electronics retailer in China began selling its products on E-Commerce China Dangdang (NYSE: DANG).
DealReporter wrote that Huntsman (NYSE: HUN) retained the services of Bank of America to explore the possible sale of the chemicals company.
Wedbush analyst Rommel Dionisio expects gun sales to increase lifting shares of Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC) higher.
On the downside
Reports that Argentina would take control of YPF (NYSE: YPF) weighed down shares of the country's energy company.
"The Hunger Games" maintained its number one spot at the box office but shares of Lions Gate (NYSE: LGF) fell as investors locked in profits.
Strategic investor Dennis Gartman told CNBC's Fast Money that he favored shipping firms such as Frontline (NYSE: FRO).
In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 3 to 1 on the NYSE and by nearly 7 to 3 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks soared 10 points to 840.