* S&P 500 hits intraday record, discretionary names rally
* Automakers rise after March auto sales
* Medicines Co tumbles after court ruling
* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 1.1 pct
(Updates to afternoon trading)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday,
with the S&P 500 advancing to an intraday record after the
latest economic data indicated that economic growth was gaining
traction after a harsh winter.
Gains were broad, but areas of the market closely tied to
the pace of economic growth were among the day's leaders.
Consumer discretionary stocks rose 1.2 percent while
technology shares were up 1 percent. Both the PHLX
housing sector index and the Nasdaq biotechnology index
added 1.5 percent.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of
national factory activity rose to 53.7 in March, its second
straight monthly acceleration, from February's read of 53.2, but
below the median forecast of 54.0.
"There's a whiff of spring in the economic data, which means
we're starting the second quarter with signs that the economy is
maintaining the kind of reasonable growth that will continue to
support the market," said Jim McDonald, chief investment
strategist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Global Investments,
which has about $884 billion in assets under management.
"I'm comforted by the rise in discretionary and homebuilding
stocks, since those are the ones that really show economic
strength. Meanwhile the rise in biotech shows improved risk
Ford Motor Co jumped 5 percent to $16.41 after U.S.
auto sales rose more than expected in March, following two
months during which demand was hampered by weather. General
Motors Co rose 1.3 percent to $34.88 and Tesla Motors
added 2.7 percent to $214.17.
Among tech names, Google Inc rose 2 percent to
$1,136.42 and Microsoft Corp added 1.1 percent to
$41.44. Both were among the biggest boosts to the Nasdaq 100
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 59.57 points,
or 0.36 percent, at 16,517.23. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 7.43 points, or 0.40 percent, at 1,879.77. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 45.58 points, or 1.09
percent, at 4,244.58.
Earlier in the session, the S&P 500 rose to 1,884.6, a
Financial data firm Markit said its final U.S. Manufacturing
Purchasing Managers Index slipped to 55.5 in March from 57.1 in
February, unchanged from a preliminary reading last week, and
the rate of growth and the pace of hiring remained strong.
Construction spending, however, edged up 0.1 percent in
February as outlays on private residential construction projects
recorded their biggest decline in seven months.
Intuitive Surgical Inc jumped 11 percent to $486.74
as the best performer on the S&P 500 after the company said the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave marketing clearance for
the company's da Vinci Xi Surgical System.
Medicines Co tumbled 16 percent to $23.86. The
company said the U.S District Court of Delaware ruled a generic
version of its blood thinner made by Hospira Inc did not
infringe two of Medicine Co's patents. Hospira shares gained 1.5
percent to $43.91.
The S&P 500 rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter, matching
its longest quarterly winning streak since 2007, buoyed by gains
Monday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen soothed concerns
about an earlier-than-expected rate hike.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)