Stocks rose on Monday as a solid quarterly profit and raised forecast from Lowe's Cos Inc , the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer, fueled hopes the economic slump was easing and spending was stabilizing.

The Lowe's results served as a fresh catalyst for investors eager to sustain the market's recovery from 12-year lows in early March.

Positive broker comments on such stocks as Bank of America Corp , up 10.8 percent, along with a gain of 2.6 percent in oil prices, also underpinned the market.

Shares of Lowe's rose 5.6 percent to $19.50, and that optimism lifted top rival Home Depot Inc up nearly 5 percent to $25.60 a day before the Dow component was due to deliver its own quarterly scorecard.

Lowe's stronger-than-expected profit and its higher full-year earnings outlook were a sharp contrast to last week's disappointing April retail sales data that helped spark a brief halt to the market's advance.

Lowe's numbers come at a time when the market is looking to rebound. It does show that consumer spending in general has been a bit stronger than many had anticipated, said Steve Goldman, market strategist at Weeden & Co in Greenwich, Connecticut. Stocks tend to react with a very sharp rally six months before the recession ends. Hopefully what we are basing this investment on does materialize.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 143.52 points, or 1.74 percent, to 8,412.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> climbed 13.65 points, or 1.55 percent, to 896.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 19.22 points, or 1.14 percent, to 1,699.36.

Home Depot was the Dow's top boost, followed by Boeing Co , which jumped 2.6 percent to $44.10. Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the plane maker to neutral from sell.

In other broker research news, Goldman raised its recommendation on Bank of America to buy. Separately, Citigroup said it now projects Bank of America posting a second-quarter profit instead of a loss.

Shares of Bank of America rose $1.17 to $11.84 on the New York Stock Exchange, while the KBW Bank index <.BKX> gained 5.7 percent. The Nasdaq's top boost was chipmaker Qualcomm Inc , up 2 percent at $41.55 following positive broker comments on the semiconductor sector.

The PHLX Semiconductor index <.SOXX> rose 1.7 percent.

Shares of Exxon Mobil Corp added 1.8 percent to $70.33, and ConocoPhillips climbed 2.7 percent to $45.12 as U.S. front-month crude rose 3 percent to $58 a barrel.

On Friday, the benchmark S&P 500 closed out its worst week in two months as some high-flying sectors, including financials, succumbed to profit-taking and investors rotated into defensive sectors like healthcare.

The S&P 500 recently peaked from the 12-year low on March 9, jumping 37.4 percent as of May 8, but after giving up some ground last week, it was up 32 percent in Monday's trading.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)