Stocks erased initial losses on Monday as buyers emerged and the S&P 500 moved closer to its 200-day moving average, a key technical level of support.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 15.52 points, or 0.13 percent, to 12,019.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 0.87 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,272.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 5.84 points, or 0.22 percent, to 2,622.32.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak)