Stocks closed higher as oil prices surged more than $3 a barrel and gold made a run at $1,000 an ounce before backing off.
The day's trading was driven by stronger commodity prices generated off a weaker dollar, and the relationship's flux helped keep gains in check.
Weakness in the U.S. dollar helped send gold over $1,000 an ounce before a pullback, while. Crude roared over the $71 mark.
The dollar hit its lowest level in nearly a year against a basket of currencies, a move that may have been sparked over concerns that the greenback's status as the world's reserve currency was in danger.
Gold miners were getting a boost from the metal's run, with Couer D'Alene setting the pace.
Anticipation of deal-making helped propel the market as well.
Cadburyresisted Kraft's $16.7 billion bid, and reports say Hershey may become a player to prevent Kraft or another competitor from acquiring Cadbury.
General Electric also helped boost the market. The parent company of CNBC.com saw its shares gain after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight from neutral and raised the price target to $17 from $12.
But shares of American International Group slipped after Credit Suisse cut AIG to underperform, citing "little to no value for common equity."
GE led gainers on the Dow industrials while Kraft was the index's worst performer.
Among the market's biggest movers:
Advanced Micro Devices shares jumped after Barclays upgraded the chip giant to outperform.
MGM shares gained along with the rest of the luxury hotel industry on a generally higher outlook for hotel real estate investment trusts.
Government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continued to be high-volume trading vehicles, but slipped even after saying their were in compliance with New York Stock Exchange princing rules.
September — historically the worst month for stocks — had started off in traditional fashion with losses on the first two trading days, but the averages gained in the final two sessions before the long weekend and are poised to do so again today.
The first of three Treasury note went well, with $38 billion in 3-year notes going at a lower yield than expected and fetching strong demand.
The Treasury will auction $20 billion in 10-year notes tomorrow and $12 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday.
Though the indexes posted comparatively mild gains market breadth was strongly positive, with gainers beating losers about 2.5 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. There were 143 new highs against just one new low with market volume about 770 million shares by 2:30 pm ET.