U.S. stocks tallied slight gains on Monday, with benchmark indexes again closing at records, as investors pondered the strength of the economy and policy moves by the Federal Reserve.
"Investors are feeling a little more confident, and fundamentals are positive. There is still a lot of risk out there from unexpected bad news, but as long as we're not getting any," the market bias is upward, said Gary Thayer, chief macros strategist, Wells Fargo Advisors.
"We're still seeing some follow through from the good news we got last week from the European Central Bank, which made investors more comfortable with where multiples are, as we had a major central bank acting like they want to do more stimulus, which offset concerns some have had about Fed tapering," Thayer added.
The ECB on Thursday rolled out sub-zero interest rates and other anti-inflation measures in a move to boost the economy of the 18-nation euro zone. The U.S. Federal Reserve, however, has been reducing its monthly bond purchases otherwise known as quantitative easing, and expects to be finished altogether this fall.
Family Dollar Stores rallied after Carl Icahn late Friday reported a 9.39 percent stake in the discount retailer, making the hedge fund billionaire its biggest stakeholder. Shares of Netflix fell after Dow Jones reported shareholders hadvoted against splitting the online entertainment company's chairman and CEO roles.