U.S. stocks inched higher on Monday as a massive emergency aid plan for Greece and anticipation of solid first-quarter corporate earnings lifted sentiment.
Still, investors were anxious to see if earnings would be enough to move stocks higher, given the recent strong run.
The S&P 500, which is up 7 percent since the start of the year, rose to within a few points of the 1,200 level, seen as an area of technical resistance. The Dow, meanwhile, traded above 11,000 after briefly topping that level on Friday for the first time since September 2008.
Aluminum company Alcoa Inc
The earnings are going to be very good on both cost and revenues, and if you're ever going to celebrate, it would be right now. If (the market) doesn't, it means it's already priced in, said Jim Awad, managing director at Zephyr Management in New York.
Helping to relieve worries about sovereign debt that could have repercussions through other parts of the continent, euro zone ministers signed off on a 30 billion euro ($40 billion) rescue package for Greece on Sunday, but stressed that Athens had not yet asked that the plan to be activated.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 23.35 points, or 0.21 percent, at 11,020.70. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 3 points, or 0.25 percent, at 1,197.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 3.33 points, or 0.14 percent, at 2,457.38.
Mirant shares surged 18.8 percent to $12.675, and RRI Energy gained 13.9 percent to $4.50. Palm shares jumped 16.5 percent to $6.
(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)