U.S. stocks slightly pared gains on Monday after data showed sales of used homes fell more than expected month over month in December.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 35.60 points, or 0.35 percent, to 10,208.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 5.24 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,097.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 8.13 points, or 0.37 percent, to 2,213.42.

U.S. existing home sales fell 16.7 percent in December to a 5.45 million units annual rate, data from the National Association of Realtors showed.

Stocks rose after the open as doubts over U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's second-term confirmation waned, relieving the market of an element of uncertainty that contributed to recent declines.