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Stocks end higher on M&A; Dow sets intraday record

U.S. stocks climbed on Monday, with the Dow industrials back above 17,000 and posting an intraday record, as investors welcomed better-than-projected earnings from Citigroup and a bout of corporate takeovers.

"It's really been an S&P-type dominated market; the large U.S. stocks are where most investors are finding refuge. McDonald's, Altria, IBM, are not going out of business tomorrow, and investors feel comfortable in good times and bad hanging with those companies," said Paul Nolte, senior vice president, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset management.

URS surged after Aecom Technology said it would pay about $4 billion to purchase the construction-management company. AbbVie declined after Shire said it was ready to recommend the company's latest offer to its shareholders. Mylan said it would purchase Abbott Laboratories' specialty and branded generics business outside the U.S. in a deal valued at about $5.3 billion. Apple rose after Barclays upgraded shares of the iPhone maker to overweight from equal weight.

"This quarter, the bar has remained relatively high, so yes, if earnings are all stellar, the market can continue to plod higher. But most people including myself would look at the market and say it's fairly valued, in which case we need pretty solid earnings to continue," said Randy Frederick, managing director of active trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab.

Citigroup gained after reporting quarterly results and after agreeing to pay $7 billion to settle government claims it misled investors about mortgage-backed bonds sold ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

"Citigroup helped the financials tremendously. They were in a funk last week. Wells Fargo put up some good numbers, and there was no benefit to it, partly because of the overhang from Europe," said Nolte, referring to concern over the financial health of one of Portugal's major banks.

Nearly 60 companies on the S&P 500 post earnings this week, with JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group, Yahoo and Intel among those scheduled to report results.

Read MoreWill earnings tell the story markets need to hear?

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Rising as much as 144 points in a move that took it above its July 3 close and intraday records, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 111.61 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,055.42, with Visa pacing blue-chip gains that included 25 of 30 components.

The S&P 500 added 9.53 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,977.10, with energy leading gains and utilities the laggard of its 10 major industry groups.

The Nasdaq gained 24.93 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,440.42.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, a measure of investor uncertainty, fell 0.26 points, or 2.2 percent to 11.82.

For every share falling, nearly two rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 592 million shares traded. Composite volume surpassed 2.7 billion.

Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Getty Images
Trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The dollar held steady against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the 10-year Treasury yield used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans rose 2 basis points to 2.544 percent.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery dropped $29.30, or 2.2 percent, to $1,308.10 an ounce;crude-oil futures for August delivery rose 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $100.91 a barrel.

"Gold is seeing an unwinding of the rally that it's seen over the last three weeks or so; some of the gold mining companies put on a very good show, so a little bit of a correction is not a surprise," Nolte said of Monday's drop in the price of the precious metal.

The markets will likely key off of comments from Janet Yellen when the Federal Reserve chair appears before Congress for two days of testimony that starts on Tuesday.

"To this point, she's been very market friendly," said Nolte.

On Friday, stocks ended with gains for the session and losses for the week as investors weighed quarterly results from Wells Fargo and readied for earnings in the week ahead.

Read MoreStocks close higher before major earnings week

—By CNBC's Kate Gibson

Coming Up This Week:

Tuesday

Earnings: Goldman Sachs, Johnson and Johnson, JP MorganChase, Intel, Yahoo, CSX, Pinnacle Financial, Commerce Bancshares

8:30 a.m.: Retail sales

8:30 a.m.: Import prices

8:30 a.m.: Empire State survey

10:00 a.m.: Business inventories

10:00 a.m.: Fed Chair Janet Yellen before Senate Banking for semiannual testimony on economy

Wednesday

Earnings: Bank of America, BlackRock, PNC Financial, Northern Trust,US Bancorp, Charles Schwab, Abbott Labs, Yum Brands, eBay,United Rentals, Textron, St. Jude Medical, Taiwan Semiconductor,First Republic Bank, SanDisk

8:30 a.m.: PPI

9:00 a.m.: TIC data

9:15 a.m.: Industrial production

10:00 a.m.: NAHB survey

10:00 a.m.: Fed Chair Yellen before House Financial Services Committee for semiannual testimony

2:00 p.m.: Beige book

Thursday

Earnings: IBM, Google, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, KeyCorp,AutoNation, Novartis, SAP, Philip Morris, UnitedHealth, Baker Hughes,Capital One, Celanese, Cypress Semi, Sherwin-Williams, Danaher,Canadian Pacific Railway, Seagate Technologies

830 a.m.: Initial claims

8:30 a.m.: Housing starts

10:00 a.m.: Philadelphia Fed survey

Friday

Earnings: General Electric, Honeywell, Kansas City Southern, Bank of NY Mellon, Ericsson, VF Corp, Interpublic

9:55 a.m.: Consumer sentiment

10:00 a.m.: Leading indicators

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