And the IMF board approved a 2.2 billion euro loan installment for Greece, part of a 8 billion euro tranche that the debt-ridden nation was expecting to get back in September.
Meanwhile, investors were also encouraged after Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti unveiled a 30 billion euro austerity packageto Italy's parliament to help stem the nation's sovereign debt crisis.
On the economic front, the pace of growth in the U.S. services sector fell in November to the slowest since January 2010, according to the Institute for Supply Management. And factory goods slipped for the second straight month, according to the Commerce Department.
“The markets will grab onto any information even when there’s not much information, so I think we’re still riding the economic news from last week on the employment numbers and consumer confidence,” said Bill Hampel, chief economist at CUNA.
Barring any overly negative news from Europe, Hampel said he expects a boost in consumer and business spending in the next few months.
“We now strongly appear to have dodged the bullet of a double-dip recession...[The economic trend] seems to be moving in the right direction so it appears that numbers are likely to surprise on the upside than downside.”
In corporate news, Germany's SAP announced a $3.4 billion cash dealto buy U.S. web-based software company SuccessFactors , joining the scramble among technology firms to offer cloud-computing services to businesses.
Rival Taleo surged 20 percent following the aquisition news.
Samsung Electronics gained after Apple failed in a bidto halt U.S. sales of the Korean tech giant's Galaxy line of products.
U.S. metals recycler Commercial Metals rejected billionaire investor Carl Icahn's buyout bid, saying the offer substantially undervalues the company and is "opportunistic."
Among earnings, Dollar General gained after the discount retailer boosted its full-year earnings outlook and posted a profit that topped estimates, helped by strong sales.
Elsewhere, China's services sector cooled in November to its weakest growth in three months, according to the HSBC purchasing managers' index, the latest data portraying an economy slowing quickly and in need of policy support.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC—
On Tap This Week:
TUESDAY: AmEx CEO speaks, GE Capital investor mtg; Earnings from Toll Brothers
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, quarterly services survey, oil inventories, consumer credit
THURSDAY: BoE announcement, ECB announcement, McDonald's sales report, jobless claims, wholesale trade, AT&T CEO speaks; Earnings from Costco, Smithfield Foods
FRIDAY: International trade, consumer sentiment, Greek short selling ban expires, EU summit
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