Shares of industrial and transportation companies fell amid mixed economic data.

The Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturers rose to 50.3% in March from 47.8% in the prior month, turning positive for the first time in 17 months. Friday's personal-consumption expenditure index reading stoked concerns about reheating inflation.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve's composite index of factory activity in the Kansas region -- a weighted average of indexes covering revenue/sales, employment and inventory, came in at 7 in March, down from 12 in February and up from minus-2 in January.

The U.S. Postal Service tapped United Parcel Service as its primary partner for moving cargo by air, replacing FedEx, which had provided the service for more than 20 years. The USPS and FedEx had been in talks to extend the contract, but were unable to reach an agreement, FedEx said.

March jobs growth in the U.S. likely received "a continued boost from above-normal immigration, strength in Big Data employment measures, and the low level of our layoff tracker," said economists at brokerage Goldman Sachs Group.

Shares of Universal Stainless & Alloy Products rose after the maker of stainless steel products posted a quarterly profit and logged a jump in sales amid higher prices in the fourth quarter.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-01-24 1751ET