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Rally on! Dow soars 300; Nasdaq ends in the green for 2015

U.S. stocks closed more than 1.5 percent higher Monday, extending Friday's surprise intraday reversal, as investors digested the implications of the jobs data on the timing of a rate hike and awaited quarterly earnings. ( Tweet This )

"Investors increasingly believe any Fed action is off the table for the rest of the year," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. "It would seem to me the Fed was reluctant to raise rates in September. Now we had a lousy jobs report, (which sector offered) really the only shed of consistently positive news."

"There is a technical element to (the stock market gains). It just remains to be seen if that holds," he said. 'It's all going to be about earnings season. If history repeats itself (they're) going to beat very lowered expectations and that should be taken as a positive."

The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 300 points higher after briefly topping its 50-day moving average for the first time since July 21. IBM, Goldman Sachs and Caterpillar contributed the most to gains.

Read MoreBernanke: No hurry to hike

The Nasdaq composite swung back into positive territory for 2015, up 0.95 percent for the year, while the Dow and S&P held several percentage points lower for the year so far.

In Monday's trading session, the Nasdaq underperformed the two other major averages as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) gave up initial gains to end 0.8 percent lower. Apple closed 0.36 percent higher.

The S&P 500 ended up 1.8 percent to post its first five-day streak of gains this year. Industrials and energy rose more than 2.5 percent to lead all sectors higher.

Energy posted its first five-day winning streak since Oct. 21, 2014, and closed above its 50-day moving average for the first time since May 22.

Crude oil settled up 72 cents at $46.26 a barrel.

Read MoreWhat has traders worried in the week ahead

"I think we had a very successful retest of the August lows so there's reason for optimism," said James Meyer, chief investment officer at Tower Bridge Advisors. "But we're not out of the woods yet. ... It's not completely complete that you can say 'all clear.' In fundamental terms I think we overbid it on the pessimistic side."

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, closed near 19.5, below 20 for the first time since August 20. The VIX fell under 20 in intraday trade for the first time since Sept. 17, when it briefly dipped to below 18 just after the Fed statement was released.

"We actually have implied volatility slightly below realized volatility," said Daniel Deming, managing director at KKM Financial. "Overall the fact that we were able to hold the low end of the range and are back in the middle of the range has reduced demand for (volatility) options. I think from a short-term perspective it's alleviated some of the immediate concern."

All three major averages gained to come within 10 percent of their 52-week highs, out of correction territory. The Russell 2000 remained in correction mode, about 12 percent from its 52-week high.

Analysts also noted some gains due to a "short squeeze" as short sellers rushed to cover positions as stocks rose.

Major averages 3-month performance


On Friday, the Dow and S&P closed up more than 1 percent for their biggest reversal in four years.

Analysts attributed the turnaround mostly to technical factors. Stocks initially sold off sharply Friday after a weaker-than-expected September nonfarm payrolls report. Few analysts found any positives from the data, which showed creation of 142,000 jobs and revised August and July figures lower.

Unemployment held at 5.1 percent, according to the Labor Department. The participation rate plunged to 62.4 percent, meaning the Fed may not be able to raise rates this year, which would remove some uncertainty for investors.

Read MoreThe worst of stock selling may be behind us: Bob Doll

In Monday's earnings news, The Container Store was due to post results after the bell.

Third-quarter earnings season kicks off later in the week with PepsiCo, Alcoa and a few other companies reporting. Earnings are expected to decline 3.9 percent for the S&P 500, according to Thomson Reuters.

Read MoreEarly movers: GE, ONCE, POT, TSLA, VIP, LMT, FDX, AZO & more

In Europe, stocks closed more than 2.5 percent higher after the weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report dampened expectations of a rate hike this year. Glencore surged to close up more than 16 percent.

Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both rose more than 1.5 percent to 2-week highs. Mainland Chinese markets are closed until Wednesday for the National Day holidays.

"Global equity markets are rallying this morning following Friday's bullish reaction to the jobs report in the U.S. We view last week's price action as characteristic of a bullish shakeout, as per our latest Global Technical Strategy, and would be adding exposure in anticipation of a seasonal fourth-quarter rally," Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG, said in a note.

In U.S. economic news, ISM non-manufacturing came in at 56.9 for September, below August's 59 read and expectations of 57.5. The ISM manufacturing report last week showed softness in the manufacturing sector.

"Bottom line, the U.S. service sector certainly moderated in September but an index at 56.9 is still a healthy level of growth for this most crucial and largest part of the U.S. economy. Manufacturing is certainly challenged but the more domestic-dependent services side has been able to weather the global economic slowdown much better," Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, said in a note.

"What this means for Fed policy is anyone's guess of course at this point but the market is clearly not expecting anything in October and only a 30 percent chance by December," he said.

The final Markit PMI services index for September came in at 55.1, below August's 56.1 and the lowest read since June.

Treasury yields held higher, with the 10-year yield at 2.06 percent and the 2-year yield at 0.61 percent in the close.

The U.S. dollar traded higher against major world currencies, with the euro below $1.12 and the yen at 120.42 yen against the greenback.

The U.S., Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries reached an agreement Monday for the years-in-the-making Trans Pacific Partnership. The trade deal still needs final approval from Congress.

Read MoreWhy the 'Trans-Pacific Partnership' deal matters

Shares of Twitter surged nearly 7 percent, attempting to top its 50-day moving average of $27.85 a share, on news the social media firm named Jack Dorsey permanent CEO.

Shares of Alphabet, the new umbrella company for Google, jumped in their first few minutes of trading Monday.

Both Class A and Class C of Alphabet shares were about 2 percent higher in afternoon trade. Alphabet is identical to Google from a stock market perspective.

Alcoa leaped 9.35 percent for its best day since Oct. 27, 2011, on news of a $1 billion deal with Airbus.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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NASDAQ
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 304.06 points, or 1.85 percent, at 16,776.43, with General Electric and Caterpillar leading advancers and Nike leading decliners.

Trian, the $13 billion activist hedge fund run by Nelson Peltz, unveiled Monday a roughly $2.5 billion investment in General Electric. The stake is the largest in Trian's history and is being described as more supportive of the firm's management than many of the fund's other positions. GE closed up 5.3 percent.

The Dow transports gained more than 2 percent for their first five-day win streak since February. The index also closed above its 50-day moving average for the first time since Sept. 17.

The S&P 500 closed up 35.69 points, or 1.83 percent, at 1,987.05, with industrials leading 10 sectors higher.

The Nasdaq closed up 73.49 points, or 1.56 percent, at 4,781.26.

Read More Apple earnings to determine whole market's fate?

About nine stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of nearly 1.1 billion and a composite volume of 4.3 billion in the close.

Gold futures settled up $1.00 at $1,137.60 an ounce.

On tap this week:

Monday

Earnings: The Container Store

Tuesday

Earnings: Pepsico, Yum Brands

8:30 a.m.: International trade

1 p.m.: 3-year note auction

5:30 p.m.: San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks

Wednesday

Earnings: Monsanto, Constellation Brands, Acuity Brands

7 a.m.: Mortgage applications

10:30 a.m.: Oil Inventories

1 p.m.: 10-year note auction

3 p.m.: Consumer credit

Thursday

Earnings: Alcoa, Domino's Pizza, Ruby Tuesday

8:30 a.m.: Initial claims

9:30 a.m.: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard speaks

10:30 a.m.: Natural Gas Inventories

1 p.m.: 30-year note auction

1 p.m.: Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota speaks

2 p.m.: FOMC minutes

3:30 p.m.: San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams speaks

4:30 p.m.: Fed Balance Sheet/Money Supply

Friday

8:30 a.m.: Import prices

10 a.m.: Wholesale trade

11 a.m.: New York Fed President's William Dudley speaks

1 p.m.: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

1:30 p.m.: Chicago Fed President's Charles Evans speaks.

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