Stocks were higher amid thin trading Monday, led by materials, as fears over Greece's debt crisis started to subside and investors snapped up beaten-down stocks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed above the psychologically-important 12,000-mark after snapping a six-week losing streakon Friday amid thin, choppy trading.
DuPont and Caterpillar led the blue-chip gainers.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq turned higher. The Dow and S&P are on track for a three-day winning steak. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, tumbled near 20.
Despite the day's rally, however, stocks are on pace for the first losing quarter since the second quarter of 2010.
Among the key S&P sectors, consumer staples and industrials were the top gainers.
With no notable economic news Monday, “we’re watching the Greek play today,” said Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners. “The headline is that the political will of the European union is finally meeting economic reality.”
"The approval of the Greek parliament is absolutely essential and it will have to arrive in a timely fashion so we can take a decision on July 3,'' said Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the EU finance ministers.
Euro zone finance ministers postponed a decision on extending 12 billion euros($17 billion) in emergency loans to Greece, saying Athens would first have to introduce harsh austerity measures.
The ministers said they expected the money, the next tranche in a 110 billion euro bailout of Greece by the EU and the IMF, to be paid by mid-July. Greece has said it needs the loans by then to avoid defaulting on its debt.
Meanwhile, Moody's placed ratings of Italian Government-related issuers on review for a possible downgrade. The news comes after the firm said Friday it could downgrade Italy's rating.
The euro traded flat against a basket of currencies. Meanwhile, gold gained near $1,540 an ounce.