Wall Street ends higher as investors await US inflation, jobs data

FILE PHOTO: People are seen on Wall Street outside the NYSE in New York, U.S.

By Shristi Achar A and Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - Wall Street ended higher on Monday, with gains in 3M and Goldman Sachs ahead of key inflation and jobs data this week that will offer more clues on the Federal Reserve's interest rate path.

All three major stock indexes rose as investors digested last Friday's comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell that the U.S. central bank may need to raise interest rates further to ensure inflation is contained.

Focus now shifts to a report on the personal consumption expenditures price index, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, to be released on Thursday, and non-farm payrolls data due on Friday.

"The fact that Powell didn't come out and say anything particularly hawkish or particularly unnerving to markets - that has proven to make this a bit of a risk-on day, even if he wasn't outright dovish either," said Ross Mayfield, Investment Strategy Analyst at Baird.

Nvidia rose 1.78% and was the most traded stock in the S&P 500, with $31 billion worth of the chipmaker's shares exchanged.

Other megacaps also gained, with Apple and Alphabet both adding 0.9%.

3M jumped 5.2% after a report that the conglomerate has tentatively agreed to pay more than $5.5 billion to resolve over 300,000 lawsuits claiming it sold the U.S. military defective combat earplugs.

Goldman Sachs gained 1.8% after the lender struck a deal to sell an investment advisory business to wealth management firm Creative Planning LLC.

The S&P 500 climbed 0.63% to end the session at 4,433.31 points.

The Nasdaq gained 0.84% to 13,705.13 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.62% to 34,559.98 points.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies including JD.com, Baidu and Alibaba rallied over 2% after China halved the stamp duty on stock trading effective Monday to boost its ailing market.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo discussed concerns about restrictions on American businesses including Intel and Micron with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. Micron's stock rose 2.5% and Intel added 1.1%.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission suspended its challenge of Amgen's $27.8 billion purchase of Horizon Therapeutics. Horizon's shares 5.2%.

Advancing issues outnumbered falling ones within the S&P 500 by a 5.5-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 10 new highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 54 new highs and 162 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was relatively light, with 8.1 billion shares traded, compared to an average of 10.8 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru, and by Noel Randewich in Oakland, Calif.; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Gregorio)