Stocks jumped about 3 percent on Monday on hopes that fresh proposals may emerge out of Europe to help solve the region's debt crisis.
The rally spread across the board, with all but one issue on the S&P 500 index higher.
Retail stocks were among the top gainers after a trade group said U.S. retailers racked up a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4 percent jump from a year ago.
Efforts heated up on several fronts to ease Europe's sovereign debt crisis. Germany and France stepped up a drive to acquire powers to reject national budgets in the euro zone that breach European Union rules ahead of an EU summit on December 9.
The mood has changed over the weekend on hopes for progress toward a lasting resolution to the building debt crisis, said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
Investors seem happy enough to take risks despite the fact that little has been substantiated this morning.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> jumped 321.96 points, or 2.87 percent, at 11,553.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> put on 37.82 points, or 3.26 percent, at 1,196.49. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 88.07 points, or 3.61 percent, at 2,529.58.
Sentiment was also boosted after an Italian newspaper report suggested the International Monetary Fund was preparing a rescue plan for Italy worth up to 600 billion euros. The IMF denied the report.
Best Buy Co Inc
Materials stocks were advanced on the back of higher commodities prices. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc
But some analysts saw any gains as a technical rebound as Wall Street came off its worst week in two months.
An oversold trading opportunity is likely pending this week, given short-term indicators are increasingly oversold, but the longer-term technical background is increasingly at risk, said Robert Sluymer, analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)