Stocks pulled off a modest gain Monday, led by banks, after Dubai World said it would try to restructure about $26 billion of its debt.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.92, or 0.3 percent, to close at 10,344.84. The S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq added 0.3 percent.
For November, the Dow gained 6.5 percent — its fifth straight monthly gain. The S&P advanced 5.7 percent and the Nasdaq climbed 4.9 percent.
Ten out of 10 key S&P sectors finished the month higher, led by materials, health-care and industrials.
The dollar finished lower for a ninth straight month. Gold gained 17 percentthis month to close at $1,181.10 an ounce, and oil gained 10 percentto settle at $77.28 a barrel.
News that Dubai would try to restructure about $26 billion of its nearly $60 billion in debt helped contain worries about a possible default — and helped the market recover in the final half-hour of trading today.
News about Dubai's debt woes last week rippled through global markets and US stocks tumbled 1.5 percent on Friday.
"It appears the market is coming to the conclusion that Dubai is a small, localized event," said Charles Lieberman, chief investment officer of Advisors Capital Management, told Reuters.
Last week, Mohammed El-Erian had suggested that maybe now, investors will be more closely focused on fundamentals. Today, he said Washington needs to implement "structural policy"to prevent another credit crisis.
Earlier, there was some encouraging economic news for the US: The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago reported its gauge of regional business activity rose to 56.1in November from 54.2 in October, the strongest reading since August 2008.
In Monday's market action, financials were the biggest gainers, with Bank of America , JPMorgan and American Express leading the Dow pack, as fears about U.S. bank exposure to Dubai subsided. European banks were actually the most heavily exposed.
The S&P financial-sector index jumped 2.7 percent.
Steel stocks got a boost after Goldman Sachs upgraded the sector to "attractive" from "neutral," saying prices have hit bottom, demand from China is strong and the weak dollar is helping. The brokerage also raised its price target on U.S. Steel to $54 from $49.
Chip stocks were the other strong sector today after an SIA report showed global semiconductor sales rose 5.1 percentin October from September as electronics makers boosted production for the holidays.
Industrials took a hit after UBS downgraded the sector to "underweight" from "neutral," saying demand remained weak.