Dec. 3, 2012 at 10:13 AM ET
The S&P 500 rose for a fourth straight day on Monday as upbeat Chinese factory data lifted sentiment, but concerns over budget dealings in Washington are expected to keep traders cautious.
China's economy picked up in November even as a broader global recovery remains fragile, with factory activity patchy elsewhere in Asia as demand from the developed world remains weak.
"The good news out of China is encouraging and that's adding to the risk trade this morning," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
Markets have focused for weeks on negotiations in Washington over some $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled to kick in next year that could tip the U.S. economy back into recession.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pushed Republicans on Sunday to offer specific ideas to cut the deficit and predicted that they would agree to raise tax rates on the rich to obtain a year-end deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
"Right now for both sides it's all about staying firm and determined to go to the very end," Cardillo said about the negotiations. "But we all know the stakes are high and (Congress) can't be that stupid as to induce another recession."
In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up slightly. The S&P 500 is gaining and the Nasdaq Composite is advancing.
The S&P 500 on Friday closed its fifth positive month in six and is up 8 percent since the end of May.