Caterpillar Paces Dow Jones Gains

U.S. stocks rise on Greek hopes.

U.S. stocks gained on Monday, as early fears of eurozone contagion gave way to optimism that Brussels and Athens would tackle the Greek debt crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 76.02 points (0.63%) to close at 12,080.38.

The broader S&P 500 rose 6.86 points (0.54%) to 1,278.36, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 13.18 points (0.50%) to reach 2,629.66.

All three indices opened in the red, but quickly turned positive as market participants became optimistic that the Greek government would survive a confidence vote in parliament set for Tuesday.

"Assurances that something will be done have taken precedence late in the day," said Marc Pado, an analyst with Cantor Fitzgerald.

Investors are also eagerly awaiting the outcome of this week's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the body within the Federal Reserve that sets interest rates.

The FOMC, which meets Tuesday and Wednesday, is expected to announce that its $600 billion Treasury-bond-purchases program will expire as scheduled by the end of June, and not announce additional stimulus amid weak economic growth.

"There is a burgeoning belief that the Fed will find a new way to communicate that interest rates will stay down longer than is already expected," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.

Cat, Wal-Mart Post Gains

Shares of Caterpillar jumped 2.3% on Monday, the sharpest gain in the 30 blue-chip stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Share of Wal-Mart were up 0.4% after it won a major legal victory in the U.S. Supreme Court, which threw out a huge class-action sex-discrimination case against the retail giant.

Banking stocks were down, mirroring losses in European bank stocks. Bank of America fell 0.8%. JPMorgan Chase, which was also hit with a major lawsuit stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis, was down 0.8%.

PNC Financial Services shed almost 2% after announcing it will buy the U.S. retail banking unit of the Royal Bank of Canada for $3.45 billion.

Bond prices fell slightly. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 2.96% from 2.94% on Friday, while that on the 30-year bond was practically unchanged at 4.20%.

Polaris Paces IW 50 Stocks

Among IndustryWeek's 2010 50 Best Manufacturing Companies, Polaris Industries Inc. was the biggest winner on Monday. The Medina, Minn.-based manufacturer of off-road vehicles was up $4.65 to $104.38 per share, a 4.7% jump.

The biggest decliner on the IW 50 was Apple Inc., which slipped $4.94 to $315.32, a 1.5% drop.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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