Stocks rose in choppy trade on Monday as surging oil prices lifted shares of energy companies, while positive broker comments spurred a rebound in technology bellwethers such as Microsoft Corp after a plunge on Friday.

Exxon Mobil , up 2.7 percent at $65.76, was the top boost to the Dow, up, while a reassuring sales report boosted McDonald's Corp 2.4 percent to $53.37.

News of Merck's proposed $41 billion takeover of Schering-Plough offered another spur for investors looking for catalysts to lift the market off 12-year lows.

Tech is certainly a sector that should benefit, said Peter Jankovskis, director of research at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

We're moving toward an environment where conserving energy and conserving materials is important, and to do that, invest in tech. That's what companies will be doing.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 65.39 points, or 0.99 percent, to 6,692.33. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 10.90 points, or 1.60 percent, to 694.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 19.95 points, or 1.54 percent, to 1,313.80.

Microsoft stock climbed 2.2 percent to $15.62, making it one of the Nasdaq's top boosts after brokerage Collins Stewart recommended the software maker as a top large-cap pick.

Technology shares had sold off on Friday following bearish brokerage comment on Apple Inc's prospects. Apple was up almost 1.6 percent at $86.63.

Exxon Mobil shares rose 2.3 percent to $65.48 as U.S. front-month crude jumped nearly 6 percent, or $2.63, to $48.15 a barrel.

Bank of America shot up more than 11 percent following a newspaper report that the bank can avoid the fate of beleaguered rival Citigroup .

Schering-Plough shares rose 18.4 percent to $20.88, while Merck, a Dow component, declined 3 percent to $22.06.

(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by James Dalgleish)