Wall Street ends higher as rate hike worries ease

U.S. stocks rose on Monday as expectations the Federal Reserve could postpone longer on raising U.S. rates offset concerns over Friday's surprisingly weak monthly jobs report.

The jobs report arrived well below expectations, with data showing U.S. employers last month added the fewest jobs in at least a year. U.S. stock markets were closed to the Good Friday holiday.

Underscoring the cost-effective weakness, an ISM set of Monday showed the pace of increase in the U.S. services sector fell in March to its minimum in three months.

"The weekend allowed market participants to discover the positive side of the weak Friday (jobs) number, that is that rates probably aren't planning to rise right away," said Rick Meckler, president of fund LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, Nj.

The Fed is expected to get U.S. mortgage rates later this year first in almost a decade if your economy, particularly the labor market, keeps improving.

The S&P utilities sector, which has a tendency to outperform in low interest rate environments, rose 1.3 %, turning it into among the best-performing sectors for the day.

The S&P energy sector, up 1.8 percent, led gains as U.S. petroleum futures jumped 6.1 percent after Saudi Arabia raised its cost for sales to Asia and estimates for crude buildups fell.

The Dow Jones industrial average ro