NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks hovered at highs on Monday with the S&P 500 trading near its record closing level. Wall Street was seeing calm trading after factory orders in March climbed at their fastest pace since July and ahead of Friday's unemployment report. 

The S&P 500 was up 0.37% to 2,116. The benchmark index closed at an all-time high of 2,117.69 on April 24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.36%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.39%.

Crude oil slipped after China's factory activity fell at a faster pace than expected, prompting fears of weakened demand for oil in the world's second-largest 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. West Texas Intermediate crude closed down 0.4% to $58.93 a barrel. 

AbbVie (ABBV) spiked nearly 1% after Larry Robinson, CEO of Glenview Capital Management, said the biotech company was trading relatively cheaply and that its pipeline is "under-appreciated." Robinson was speaking at the 20th annual Ira Sohn Investment Conference on Monday. 

Oil-fracking companies including Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Concho Resources (CXO), and Whiting Petroleum (WLL) slid after activist investor David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, criticized the fracking industry. 

"We object to oil fracking because the investment can contaminate returns," he said at the investment conference.

The utilities sector was the best performer on the S&P 500. Exelon  (EXC), Southern (SO), Duke Energy (DUK) and Dominion Resources (D) were all higher, while the Utilities SPDR ETF (XLU) added 1%.

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