Stocks rose on Monday on expectations of positive earnings and help from a weaker dollar, putting the benchmark S&P 500 on track for its sixth straight higher finish.

In another boost to sentiment, Blackstone Group rose 7.2 percent to $15.92 on a report the private equity firm is planning to list up to eight of its portfolio companies through initial public offerings, taking advantage of improved equity markets.

We are hearing good news for stocks, especially ahead of very important earnings ... more people are optimistic and brokerages are giving out good numbers as well, said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Morgan in San Francisco.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 39.90 points, or 0.40 percent, at 9,904.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 6.33 points, or 0.59 percent, at 1,077.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 7.78 points, or 0.36 percent, at 2,147.06.

Investors are closely eyeing several earnings due this week, including top banks -- JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday, Citigroup Inc and Goldman Sachs Group on Thursday and Bank of America Corp on Friday.

The U.S. dollar fell 0.4 percent against a basket of major currencies <.DXY>, continuing its recent weakness that has helped bolster U.S. stocks by lifting commodity prices and increasing companies' repatriated earnings.

On Nasdaq, Google Inc rose 1.5 percent to $523.76 after several analysts raised their price targets on the shares ahead of Google's third-quarter results due this week.

Black & Decker Corp jumped 6.9 percent to $50.48 as the power tools maker raised its third-quarter earnings outlook ahead of series of blue chip earnings reports this week.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc gained 6.4 percent to $28.61 after the company agreed to buy Proteolix for an upfront cash payment of $276 million.

Lazard Ltd fell 2.1 percent to $41.04, however, after it said Bruce Wasserstein, its chairman and chief executive, had been hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat.

Crude oil traded higher above $73 a barrel, pushing commodity and energy companies such as Newmont Mining Corp and ConocoPhillips up more than 1 percent.

If the benchmark S&P 500 ends higher on Monday, it would be the index's longest winning streak since another six-day runup in late May and early June 2007. The gains will also be the longest winning streak since the start of this year's rally in early March when the index sunk to 12-year lows.

The Dow industrials reached a new 2009 closing high on Friday.

Trading volume was light due to the Columbus Day holiday on Monday. The U.S. bond market and government offices were closed.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)