NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks bounced back from session lows in a volatile day of trading on Monday afternoon. Moving markets on Monday, weaker-than-expected factory and personal spending data triggered fears of a slowdown in U.S. growth, while energy stocks rallied on jumping oil prices.
The S&P 500 was up 0.42%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.31%, and the Nasdaq nudged 0.03% higher.
The latest data on U.S. factory orders indicated slower-than-expected growth, triggering fears the domestic economy isn't as strong as believed. The January ISM manufacturing index slipped to 53.5 from 55.5, its worst level in a year. Though above the expansion level, the reading was below estimates of 54.5.
"Manufacturers are beginning to slow activity as we round the corner into 2015," said Sterne Agee chief economist Lindsey Piegza. "After months of robust inventory building, a modest domestic consumer, restrained activity overseas and plummeting oil prices are finally forcing a reduction in production, a declining trend expected to continue for some time."
U.S. production levels in January were flat month over month at 53.9, according to the PMI manufacturing index flash reading. Economists had expected a slightly higher reading of 54. Construction spending in December climbed 0.4% to $982 billion, lower than an expected 0.7% increase.
Consumer spending declined for the first time in 11 months in December, down 0.3% and slightly weaker than an expected 0.2% drop. Personal income gained 0.3% month on month, in line with forecasts.
The data showed "some slowing in economic momentum in December," TD Securities' Millan Mulraine said. "Given the surge in household confidence in recent months this trend should reverse in January, and our expectation is for spending to rebound meaningfully ... which will provide a very strong platform for a resurgence in growth activity this quarter. However, with the inflationary backdrop continuing to weaken, we believe that the Fed will continue to hold the line on rates until September (at the earliest)."
Oil had retraced losses that occurred after 3,800 refinery employees represented by the United Steelworkers union went on strike for their second day after failing to agree to new labor contracts. The group accounts for 10% of U.S. refining capacity. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 2.3% to $49.37 a barrel.
Exxon Mobil (XOM) was up more than 1% after beating fourth-quarter profit expectations. The oil giant earned $1.56 a share over the quarter, 22 cents higher than expected. However, revenue down 20% highlighted how tanking oil prices have undercut the industry's topline growth.
Guess (GES) shares were down more than 3% after Evercore ISI downgraded the retailer to a "sell" from "hold."
Shake Shack (SHAK) shares pared some of the explosive gains made after going public on Friday. The burger chain's stock more than doubled to $45.90 in its market debut to levels some economists, including Jim Cramer, felt too high.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.