Stocks rose on Monday as better-than-expected results from the No. 2 U.S. home improvement retailer, Lowe's Cos Inc , helped spark broad-based buying on hopes the recession is easing and consumer spending is stabilizing.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 235.44 points, or 2.85 percent, to close unofficially at 8,504.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 26.83 points, or 3.04 percent, to 909.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 52.22 points, or 3.11 percent, to 1,732.36.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jan Paschal)