Stocks rose in a choppy session on Monday on optimism euro zone officials would develop plans to slash Greece's debts and recapitalize European banks in the latest effort to tackle the region's debt woes.
But European officials said reports that plans were already in place for a 50 percent write-down in Greek debt and a vast increase in the euro zone rescue fund were highly premature.
Everyone had come to the conclusion that it was spinning out of control, and now there is some talk of actually beefing things up, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.
The feeling is maybe there is the political will there now to actually put some real meat into these programs to keep things from falling apart. The market likes what it is hearing.
Financials were among the session's best performers, with the KBW bank index <.BKX> up 2.3 percent. JPMorgan Chase & Co
Markets have been highly sensitive to European efforts to cauterize its credit crisis that has Greece teetering toward a default.
Stocks ended higher Friday after a disastrous four days of selling. The S&P 500 index slid 6.6 percent for the week and the Dow suffered its worst weekly loss since the depths of the financial crisis in October 2008.
A lot of the day-to-day movement in European markets has to do with investors' estimation on which way the political will is moving, said Jack de Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
He added that he expected another volatile week.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 121.32 points, or 1.13 percent, to 10,892.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 8.07 points, or 0.71 percent, to 1,144.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 6.54 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,476.69.
Warren Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc
Shares of the more actively traded Class B stock climbed nearly 7 percent to $70.97.
Technical problems stalled the opening of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for more than 10 minutes. As a result, the Dow did not accurately reflect its components' stock prices, DJ Indexes said.
The index provider cited technical difficulties in the real-time calculation system between the open at 9:30 a.m. EDT(1330 GMT) and 9:42 a.m. (1342 GMT), a DJ Indexes spokesperson said.
The 30-stock average showed a flat open while most of its components traded higher. After the problem was fixed, the DJIA rose more than 1 percent.
The glitch affected the Dow Jones industrial average, the transportation average <.DJT>, the utility average <.DJU> and the composite average <.DJA>, Dow Jones Indexes said.
In the latest economic data, sales of new single-family homes fell in August to a 6-month low, according to government data, in a sign the housing market continued to struggle.
(Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)