NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks surged on Monday, following European and Asian markets higher and erasing some of the losses suffered last week.
The S&P 500 was up 0.91%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.95%, and the Nasdaq added 0.83%.
European stock markets continued to receive support from the European Central Bank's quantitative-easing program, now in its second week. Germany's DAX jumped 1.5% on Monday, France's CAC 40 was up 0.64%, and the FTSE 100 in London added 0.34%.
China's Shanghai Composite charged more than 2% higher after Premier Li Keqiang pledged economic reform to address flagging growth in the world's second-largest economy. Keqiang intends to introduce reforms so China can hit its GDP growth forecast of 7% this year.
Crude oil plummeted to six-year lows on Monday with West Texas Intermediate down 3.1% to $43.44 a barrel. The fresh lows added to losses suffered last week as rig cuts only dented production and the U.S. faces a possible storage crisis in coming months.
Several economic readings came in weaker than expected on Monday, including homebuilder confidence, which fell to its lowest point since July. The NAHB housing market index slipped to 53 in March, down from 53 a month earlier.
Manufacturing in New York state slowed unexpectedly in March, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. Conditions dropped to a reading of 6.9 over the month, down from 7.8 and below consensus of 8.
Industrial production in February also was shy of estimates, climbing 0.1% and coming in below estimates of 0.2%. However, the reading was an improvement on January figures, which showed a 0.3% decline.
U.S. stocks have been under pressure as Wall Street focused on whether the Federal Reserve might remove its "patient" language from its statement this week, a move that would set into action a possible rate hike later this year.
"While the move will be the next key pivotal step toward the exit, putting a June rate hike in play, [Chair Janet] Yellen will be careful to stress that the Fed will remain data-dependent in gauging the timing of the first rate hike," said TD Securities' Gennadiy Goldberg. "We believe the Fed will want to be 'reasonably confident' that inflation is moving back toward their 2% target before initiating rate hikes."
Procter & Gamble (PG) spiked 1.9% after Bloomberg reported the company was exploring a sale or spinoff of its beauty brands. Plans are reportedly still in the early stages, including which brands would be spun off.
Microsoft (MSFT) was slightly lower after having its earnings estimates cut at UBS. Analysts made revisions based on expected weaker PC demand and the negative impact of foreign exchange.
General Electric (GE) added 0.82% after agreeing to sell its Australia and New Zealand consumer-lending arm to a group of investors led by investment firm KKR & Co. for $6.3 billion.
Tesla (TSLA) spiked 2% after CEO Elon Musk announced a press conference for Thursday in which the alternative carmaker would unveil solutions to "range anxiety." In a tweet, Musk said the announcement would detail a software update for its Model S fleet that would allow the vehicles to drive longer distances between charges.
Netflix (NFLX) was downgraded to "sell" from "hold" at Evercore. Analysts said the video-streaming industry is becoming intensely competitive and poses a challenge to Netflix. Shares fell 3.6%.