Stocks kicked off the week on a high note Monday, after Greece's parliament finally gave the green light over the weekend to austerity measures aimed at securing an international bailout package.
Apple hit a major milestone, closing above $500 a share for the first time, amid speculation about the iPad 3 and the possibility that the firm may declare a dividend, or even split its shares.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 72.81 points, or 0.57 percent, to end at 12,874.04, led by BofA and JPMorgan .
The S&P 500 added 9.13 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 1,351.77. The Nasdaq rallied 27.51 points, or 0.95 percent, to finish at 2,931.39, ending near a 11-year high.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell to end near 19.
Most S&P sectors ended in positive territory, led by industrials and banks. Utilities dipped slightly.
“Overall, the market wants to digest good news,” said Mark Martiak, vice president of Premier Financial Advisors. “But this week is critical as to whether the rally can sustain itself. We’re going to have continued choppiness as we don’t know what to expect.”
Greece's parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity billover the weekend, securing a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy. In total, 199 of the 300 lawmakers voted for the bill, but 43 deputies from the socialists and conservatives rebelled by voting against. They were immediately expelled by their parties.
Meanwhile, violence grew on the streets of Athens, showing that despite the approval by parliament the measures will be difficult to implement.
Martiak added that the possibility of a Greek default is not completely off the table.
“There’s still a lot of intense scrutiny and public pressure—these austerity measures have to be renegotiated after the national elections. Greece will be a benchmark for Portugal and other countries facing difficult times,” he explained. “Greece is not out of the woods yet, but we’ll know by the end of the first half of the year,” he explained.
Apple also launched a new legal attack on Samsung phones, targeting the latest model using the fast-growing Android operating system from Google.
Google is expected to get approval from EU and U.S. competition regulators for its planned $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility .