(By Balachander) U.S. stocks ended 1 percent higher as a set of upbeat readings on jobs and manufacturing activity buoyed sentiment.
The S&P 500 Index added 1.00 percent to end at 1,513.16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.08 percent to finish at 14,009.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.18 percent to close at 3,179.10.
The Labor Department's non-farm payrolls report showed that the economy added 157,000 jobs in January following an upwardly revised 196,000 in December. Economists expected creation of 160,000 jobs last month. In addition, the report showed the rise in jobs was upwardly revised to 247,000 in November from 161,000.
The jobless rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent.
Non-farm payrolls measures the change in the number of people employed during the previous month, excluding the farming industry.
[Related -Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX): Should Astrazeneca Plc Buy Forest Labs?]
The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing survey showed the index rose to 53.1 last month from 50.2 in December, reaching a nine-month high.
A report from the Commerce Department showed construction spending grew 0.9 percent in December after a revised 0.1 percent rise in November.
The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment reading came in at 73.8 last month from a final reading of 72.9 in December.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: MRK, TSN, VVUS, CTRP, MTW, PMCS, LTM, TLAB
In corporate news, Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) shed 3.28 percent after the health care giant posted lower quarterly earnings as sales fell and margins shrank as the U.S. patent expiry for its asthma treatment weighed on the results.
[Related -How To Supply Your Portfolio With Outperforming Stocks]
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) gained 3.07 percent after the company reported 11 percent rise in its first-quarter profit, which also topped Street view, on lower interest expense. The company also guided its fiscal 2013 sales above estimates.
VIVUS Inc. (NASDAQ: VVUS) added 2.73 percent after the company said a study concluded its weight-loss drug Qsymia significantly improved multiple cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Ctrip.com International Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTRP) jumped 3.23 percent after the China-based travel services company posted revenue growth for the fourth quarter and forecast 15 percent to 20 percent rise in revenue for the first quarter.
Manitowoc Company Inc. (NYSE: MTW) rose 5.00 percent after the maker of engineered lifting equipment posted upbeat quarterly results.
PMC-Sierra Inc. (NASDAQ: PMCS) surged 12.98 percent after the semiconductor company posted quarterly profit that topped market expectations.
Life Time Fitness Inc. (NYSE: LTM) tumbled 22.41 percent after the company lowered its full-year guidance and issued a downbeat outlook for 2013.
Tellabs Inc. (NASDAQ: TLAB) lost 7.68 percent after the networking-equipment company posted a wider fourth-quarter loss amid restructuring-related charges and drop in revenue. The company also gave a downbeat revenue outlook.
European markets ended in green, with Germany's DAX up 0.74 percent to close at 7,833.39. France's CAC40 climbed 1.10 percent to finish at 3,773.53. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 1.12 percent to end at 6,347.24.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rallying 1.41 percent to close at 2,419.02. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.47 percent to finish at 11,191.34. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.03 percent to end at 23,721.84. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.57 percent lower at 19,781.19.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Crude oil futures added 0.16 percent to $97.65 per barrel while natural gas futures fell 1.26 percent to $3.30 per million metric British thermal units. Gold futures gained 0.49 percent to $1,670 per ounce and silver futures jumped 1.89 percent to $31.95 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro added 0.57 percent against the U.S. dollar at 1.3656. The British pound shed 0.96 percent against the greenback to 1.5704, while the dollar advanced 1.22 percent against the Japanese yen to 92.8300.