U.S. stocks rallied on Monday, pushing the S&P 500 to an eight-month closing high, after CIT Group Inc was thrown a lifeline to avoid bankruptcy, and investors bet corporate America would log another strong set of earnings this week.

The Nasdaq set a closing high for the year. Broker upgrades of technology bellwethers, including Cisco Systems , propelled the Nasdaq to its ninth straight daily advance -- matching a streak from July 1998.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> shot up 104.21 points, or 1.19 percent, to end unofficially at 8,848.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 10.75 points, or 1.14 percent, to finish unofficially at 951.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> jumped 22.68 points, or 1.20 percent, to close unofficially at 1,909.29.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)