Stocks rose in early Monday trading, lifted by natural resource shares on bets on global growth and a buyback plan at Intel that focused investor attention on the largecap technology sector.

Intel Corp raised its dividend by 15 percent and authorized another $10 billion for stock repurchases, a sign larger technology companies with slower growth may be looking for ways to reward investors.

Intel rose 1.3 percent to $21.10, and IBM , up 1.7 percent to $158.12, hit a fresh lifetime high, leading gains on the Dow industrials.

The Intel news is part of what's helping some of the big technology stocks do well today, said Howard Ward, portfolio manager of the GAMCO Growth Fund in Rye, New York.

Part of the IBM (growth) story is excess cash flow being used to buy back stock.

The S&P materials sector <.GSPM> advanced 1.3 percent. Copper prices rose as concerns about a decrease in Chinese demand were replaced by worries over supply constraints.

It's very difficult to ignore the positive implications for earnings in material stocks when the global economy is gaining traction, Ward said.

The chief executive of Alcoa Inc said he sees continued demand for aluminum in 2011, and the Dow component's shares gained 3.4 percent to $16.34.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 73.64 points, or 0.62 percent, to 11,945.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> rose 5.76 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,289.11. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> gained 21.14 points, or 0.79 percent, to 2,710.68.

Further boosting the technology sector, Nvidia Corp jumped 9.8 percent to $24.39 after Barron's said the chipmaker's stock could nearly double in price this year.

Halliburton Co rose 1.9 percent to $39.92 after it posted a fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)