Stocks opened sharply higher on Monday on hopes that fresh proposals could be emerging out of Europe to help solve the region's debt crisis.

Retail stocks rallied after strong sales over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, with the S&P retail index <.RLX> advancing 3.4 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 274.96 points, or 2.45 percent, at 11,506.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 29.67 points, or 2.56 percent, at 1,188.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 71.02 points, or 2.91 percent, at 2,512.53.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)