Stocks jumped on Monday as optimism grew that European leaders would come up with a new plan to resolve the region's debt crisis and following a strong start to the U.S. holiday shopping season.
All 10 S&P sectors were up sharply, but energy and consumer discretionaries were among those with the biggest gains.
Retail stocks rose after upbeat reports on the start of the holiday shopping season over the weekend. Shares of Macy's
Weak consumer spending has been a worry for investors, and the holiday period would likely confirm whether there's been any improvement in that area.
On the European front, efforts heated up to ease Europe's sovereign debt crisis, which contributed to the benchmark S&P index's recent seven-day string of losses.
Germany and France pushed to acquire powers to reject national budgets in the euro zone that breach European Union rules ahead of an EU summit on December 9.
Also, an Italian newspaper report suggested the International Monetary Fund was preparing a rescue plan for Italy, but the IMF denied the report.
The rumors ... have emboldened risk-takers to cover shorts. Unfortunately, these rallies are short-lived until real dollars or euros are injected into the financial systems, said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 284.50 points, or 2.53 percent, at 11,516.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 32.63 points, or 2.82 percent, at 1,191.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 81.61 points, or 3.34 percent, at 2,523.12.
Morganlander said the day's gains could be just a quick rise after recent losses. Wall Street just had its worst week in two months.
The S&P retail index <.RLX> advanced 3.2 percent while Best Buy Co Inc
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Kenneth Barry)