NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 was trading on Monday near its record close, posting modest gains as factory orders in March climbed at their fastest pace since July.
U.S. markets were following a rally by international stocks. Chinese markets gained after weak factory data fueled hopes for more monetary stimulus, and European shares spiked on reports Greek debt talks were making progress.
The S&P 500 was up 0.43% to 2,117.3. The benchmark index had closed at an all-time high of 2,117.69 on April 24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.43%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.49%.
New orders for manufactured goods increased 2.1% in March following a 0.1% decrease a month earlier, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a 2% increase.
The manufacturing sector in the eurozone expanded in April, though at a slower pace than the month earlier. Markit's final manufacturing PMI slipped to 52, remaining close to March's 10-month high of 52.2.
Negotiations between Greece and its European creditors have made progress, a government official said over the weekend, noting that an agreement could come this month. Discussions will continue on Monday as the country races to score further debt relief ahead of a May 12 repayment to the International Monetary Fund.
Chinese stocks bounced nearly 1% higher as weak China factory activity fueled hopes the People's Bank of China will introduce further monetary stimulus to revive a flagging economy. The HSBC final Purchasing Managers' Index fell at its fastest pace in a year, down to 48.9 in April from 49.6 in March.