US stocks advanced in early trade on Monday as sentiment was buoyed after Japan made progress in its battle to control radiation leaks at a crippled plant, and AT&T announced that it will buy T-Mobile USA from German company Deutsche Telekom to create the largest mobile provider in the United States.

The S&P 500 Index advanced 18.20 points, or 1.42 percent, to trade at 1,297.37 at 9:50 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 183.23 points, or 1.55 percent, to trade at 12,041.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.66 percent.

After more than a week of utter mayhem and terrible fear about an impending disaster, there was good news finally from Japan -- engineers successfully restored electricity to the cooling systems at the Fukushima reactors over the weekend, averting further blasts and the escape of dangerous radioactive elements.

On the corporate front, shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) surged 3.15 percent after the company announced that it will buy T-Mobile USA from German company Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion.

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) shares plunged 13.66 percent as the AT&T deal has negative implications for Sprint and Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR), where a network sharing announcement ahead of a merger between Sprint, Clearwire and T-Mobile was widely anticipated.

[IBTimes coverage of the T-Mobile's acquisition:

-Sprint, Clearwire Likely To Merge: Analyst

-What does AT&T get from its $39 billion acquistion of T-Mobile?

-AT&T buys T-Mobile: What Does It Mean For Consumers?]

Energy sector stocks gained as oil prices climbed to near $103 a barrel in U.S trade. Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) gained 1.77 percent and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) advanced 1.97 percent.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) shares surged 6.18 percent as the company reported fourth quarter net income of $181.22 million or $1.41 per share compared to $140.37 million or $1.10 per share in the same quarter a year-ago. It also expects fiscal 2011 earnings to be in the range of $3.35 to $3.45 per shares, while analysts expected a profit of $3.25 on sales of $3.37 billion.

The euro declined 0.25 percent to 1.4146 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.79 percent against the greenback.

US stocks ended higher on Friday as sentiment was buoyed after Libya announced a cease-fire and the Group of Seven (G-7) Finance ministers agreed to intervene in the markets to stabilize the Japanese yen.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 73.29 points, DAX30 up by 135.12 points and CAC 40 up by 74.74 points.