NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks held onto a soft rebound by mid-morning Friday, shaking off the latest data that showed continued weakness in manufacturing activity. All benchmark indexes tumbled 1% a day earlier after personal income data came in weaker than expected.
The S&P 500 was up 0.64%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.65%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.78%.
Altera (ALTR) led the Nasdaq higher on reports Intel (INTC) could launch a hostile bid for the chipmaker by June. Intel had signed a standstill agreement with Altera amid previous deal talks which expire on June 1, according to Reuters. Altera spiked 8.6%.
U.S. manufacturing activity held at the year's lows in April. Markit revised its index of U.S. manufacturing conditions to 54.1 in April from 55.7 in March as industrial companies continued to hurt from a stronger dollar.
In a separate report, manufacturing activity held at 51.5 in April, its lowest level since May 2013, according to the Institute for Supply Management index. Economists had expected a reading of 52.
"This was a weak report and the absence of any bounce is a clear indication that the U.S. economic recovery has remained mired in a soft patch," said Millan Mulraine, deputy head of U.S. strategy at TD Securities. "We believe that the case for a mid-year (June or July) hike by the [Federal Reserve] is becoming compromised."
Consumer sentiment improved in April with a reading of 95.9, up from 93 in March, according to a University of Michigan survey. The improvement was as expected.