U.S. stocks moved higher on Monday as signs that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would win a U.S. Senate vote for a second term helped lift shares beaten down in last week's sell-off, such as technology stocks.
U.S. lawmakers looked likely to grudgingly approve Bernanke's nomination after the White House moved in to defend his record as a crisis-fighter in an effort to rally votes.
The Fed chairman you know is better than the one you don't, and the market really hates uncertainty, said Karl Mills, President of Jurika, Mills & Keifer Investment Partners in Oakland, California.
If there is a perception that the direction of the Fed is going to be increasingly politicized and this is going to become an issue that is beaten around Congress, that will be very bad for the markets in the near term.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 66.05 points, or 0.65 percent, to 10,239.03. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 9.40 points, or 0.86 percent, to 1,101.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> advanced 14.53 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,219.82.
Both the Dow and Nasdaq briefly turned negative after data from the National Association of Realtors showed sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell at a record pace in December, highlighting the housing market's reliance on government aid.
Homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc
But with bellwether Apple Inc
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)