U.S. manufacturing expanded for the 16th straight month in November.
According to the Institute for Supply Managment, its index of manufacturing activity dropped to 56.6 in November, down from 56.9 in October. An index over 50 indicates growth. After slowing over the summer, factories have picked up in recent months and manufacturing has been one of the strongest sectors of the economy since the recession ended.
The ISM's index rose to 60.4 in April, the highest level since 2004. The index bottomed out in December 2008 at 32.5, the lowest since 1980.
Stocks jumped prior to the report's release and held their gains afterward. Investors responded to strong manufacturing data out of China as well.
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