Wall St closes higher on Asian, local data

US investors buoyed by surge in Japanese business confidence, strong American manufacturing data.

United States stocks have stayed in positive territory on generally strong manufacturing data, although leading indices closed well below their intraday highs.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 63.82 (0.43%) to 14,973.42 points. The Dow rose as high as 15,083 earlier in the session.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 8.60 (0.54%) to 1,614.88 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 31.24 (0.92%) to 3,434.49 points.

Brent Schutte, a market strategist at BMO Private Bank said the monthly Institute of Supply Management reading of US manufacturing activity was "pretty good."

The ISM data showed the manufacturing index rising to 50.9% in June compared with 49 in May. At the same time, the ISM showed manufacturing employment contracted for the first time in September 2009.

"I don't know if bad news is good news or good news is good news," Schutte said. Markets "seem to be in this tug-of-war period."

The Nikkei 225 index closed Monday 1.3% higher after a quarterly central bank reading of economic sentiment moved sharply higher and into positive territory for the first time since September 2011.

Citigroup added 0.58% after announcing it would pay Fannie Mae $US968 million ($A1.07 billion) to settle potential future claims for 3.7 million residential first mortgage loans sold to Fannie.

Cancer-drug developer Onyx Pharmaceuticals surged 51.27% after it rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from Amgen, potentially setting off a bidding war. Amgen rose 1.19%.

Celgene Corp, another biopharmaceutical company, rose 1.65%, while Gilead Sciences, a Celgene peer, added 0.7%. Both Celgene and Gilead have been mentioned as possible Onyx suitors.

Apple rose 3.2% after Raymond James upgraded the technology giant to "strong buy," citing increased iPhone shipments and a belief that near-term trends will stabilise, according to Market Watch.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury was 2.46%, down from 2.48% Friday, while the 30-year edged down to 3.47% from 3.50%. Bond prices move inversely to yields.