NEW YORK — LESS FED CONCERN: Stocks gained after two economic reports, one on manufacturing, one on construction spending, added to evidence that the economy is muddling along, rather than powering ahead. That's good for stock investors betting that the Federal Reserve will keep up its stimulus.

NEW QUARTER, NEW MONEY: Stocks likely benefited from new money coming into the market at the start of the quarter. During the last 10 years the S&P 500 has risen on the first trading day of the new quarter, twice as many times it has fallen, gaining an average of 1.15 percent.

CABLE WARS: Cablevision rose $1.62, or 9.6 percent, to $18.44 after reports that Time Warner Cable is considering making a bid for the company. Reports had circulated last week that billionaire John Malone was considering a bid for Time Warner.