The Institute of Supply Management and Markit Economics both reported the purchasing managers index report for August on Tuesday. The ISM pegged the PMI at 55.7 in August, slightly higher than July. Markit estimated the PMI at 53.1, slightly lower than their July reading.
Both indexes use 50 as neutral with higher numbers indicating growth.
Although casting a shadow over many market decisions, President Barack Obama has said he would wait for Congress to vote to decide on whether or not to use a military strike against Syria over its government's alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians.
The Syrian situation has kept energy prices elevated and contributed to a general market malaise.
On Tuesday, after a holiday break, the Dow Jones industrial average added 0.16 percent or 23.65 points to close at 14,833.96. The Nasdaq gained 22.74 points or 0.63 percent to 3,612.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 6.80 points or 0.42 percent to 1,639.77.
On the New York Stock Exchange 1,678 issues advanced while 1,401 declined on total volume of 3.7 billion shares traded.
In Asia Japan's Nikkei 225 index added 407.52 points or 2.99 percent to close at 13,978.44.
In Europe the London FTSE dropped 37.78 points or 0.58 percent to close at 6,468.41.
On currency markets the euro rose to $1.3173 and the dollar rose to 99.61 yen.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold gained $16.60 to $1,412.80 per troy ounce and silver up 70.7 cents to $24.31.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note fell 20/32 to yield 2.866 percent.
In after hours trading, crude oil was up 88 cents to $108.53 per barrel on the NYMEX.
On the Chicago Board of Trade, December corn was off 6 3/4 cents to $4.75 1/4 a bushel, November soybeans added 28 1/2 cents to $13.86 a bushel and December wheat shed 7 cent to 6.47 a bushel.