Stocks rose on Monday, lifted by energy and financial shares as investors repositioned in anticipation of the new year.

The gains tacked on a further advance to December's rally, which has pushed the S&P 500 up 5.4 percent for the month and 11.6 percent for the year so far.

The financial sector <.GSPF>, which has lagged the broader market, was up 0.6 percent as investors scooped up bargains and bet the sector could be among the leaders next year.

Energy shares also led the way up as the price of oil rose 1 percent in choppy trading. Chevron gained 1.2 percent to $89.53, while JPMorgan Chase & Co was up 1.4 percent at $40.24.

We have seen this year-end rally refuse to give up any ground, said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

The combination of improving economic data, additional stimulus from the Federal Reserve and the extension of tax cuts was keeping equities in demand, said Hellwig.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> edged up 10.37 points, or 0.09 percent, at 11,502.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 5.76 points, or 0.46 percent, to 1,249.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 14.27 points, or 0.54 percent, to 2,657.24.

U.S. markets will be closed on Friday to observe the Christmas Day holiday on Saturday.

On the downside, American Express tumbled 4 percent to $42.25. The stock is down about 9 percent since last Thursday when the Federal Reserve proposed limiting debit interchange fees at 12 cents per transaction.

Stifel Nicolaus downgraded American Express to hold from buy on Monday, saying the company is increasingly exposed as a cut in fees will significantly increase pressure on higher-cost payments alternatives like Amex.

Boeing Co also kept gains in check. The stock was down 2.7 percent to $63.30, and one market watcher cited a published report that said a delivery delay could be announced for the plane maker's 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

It sounds like some of the airlines are getting sick of the delays in this Dreamliner and that is why it is down, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.

Among several deal announcements in recent months, AT&T Inc said it would buy wireless spectrum licenses from Qualcomm Inc in a deal worth $1.9 billion. Qualcomm edged up 0.3 percent at $49.60. AT&T was down 0.1 percent at $29.18. helped boost the Nasdaq on optimism the company will benefit from improved holiday spending. According to research firm comScore, U.S. online sales are up 12 percent to $27.5 billion so far this season compared with a year ago.

Shares of Amazon gained 2.9 percent to $182.82.

Food and beverage company Sara Lee Corp has been in talks to sell itself to Brazilian meat producer JBS , but the two companies are at odds over price, a source said. Sara Lee shares rose 2.1 percent to $17.62.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)