Wall Street rose on Monday, led by natural resource companies on bets on global growth and a share-buyback plan by Intel that lifted the large-cap technology sector.
The gains came as the S&P 500 resumed its climb after ending last week down, its first weekly drop since November and a source of worry of a bigger pullback in the market.
The blue-chip Dow, meanwhile, rose near the psychologically
important 12,000, pulled higher by natural resources stocks like Alcoa while the Nasdaq gained more than 1 percent on large-cap tech shares.
While equities have rallied by more than 20 percent since late summer, we believe the current environment still remains supportive of stocks in general, said Mike Ryan, chief investment strategist at UBS in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 97.67 points, or 0.82 percent, at 11,969.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 6.94 points, or 0.54 percent, at 1,290.29. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 28.14 points, or 1.05 percent, at 2,717.68.
Volatility indicators in the options market also suggested a turnaround after the S&P's decline last week.
When we've seen a high CSFB (Credit Suisse Fear Barometer) and jumpy VIX in the past, it has usually meant a short-term rebound in the S&P, said Jason Goepfert of SentimenTrader in a report.
The Credit Suisse Fear Barometer hit a six-month high late last week, meaning that traders are bidding up the price of put options on the S&P 500 index <.SPX>. The CBOE Volatility Index <.VIX> also jumped more than 10 percent from its lowest point over the past week.
Shares of Alcoa Inc
The S&P materials sector <.GSPM> advanced 1.4 percent. Copper prices rose as concerns about a decrease in Chinese demand were replaced by worries over supply constraints.
International Business Machines
As earnings reporting picks up speed, of the 84 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported so far, about 73 percent have beaten Wall Street forecasts.
We now expect S&P 500 earnings per share growth of 11.5 percent in 2011, UBS's Ryan said.
Although such growth figures amount to a marked decline relative to the 39 percent growth in earnings witnessed in 2010 on the back of strong margin improvement, they still represent a favorable earnings environment under more normalized business conditions, he said.
Dow component McDonald's Corp
Further boosting the technology sector, Nvidia Corp
J.C. Penney Co Inc
(Additional reporting by Doris Frankel in Chicago; Editing by Kenneth Barry)