Manufacturing slows, still above expectations

U.S. markets — Dow Jones, NASDAQ and S&P 500 — were up about 2 percent through this afternoon, boosted by an increase in production and new orders as well as companies' increased willingness to hire new employees.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was cautiously optimistic in a speech Monday, saying although the crisis is "mostly behind us," the nation still has a "considerable way to go to achieve a full recovery in our economy, and many Americans are still grappling with unemployment, foreclosure and lost savings."

Another positive Monday was a revised manufacturing report for Europe, showing a faster-than-expected recovery for the 16 countries that use the euro. U.S. markets dropped off during the past few months on concerns over the European debt crisis.