Stocks rose more than 1 percent out of the gate Monday as investors snapped up some bargains after Friday's selloff.
Offering investors something to chew on, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that we may need a second government package to stabilize the economy in prepared remarks before the House Budget Committee.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shot up at the open, peaking around 10 a.m. and wobbling as Bernanke spoke.
At 11:30 a.m. ET, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will speak, offering details of the application process for the capital-purchase program.
This is the start of an earnings-packed week, offering investors a chance to dig down into corporate numbers and see exactly how companies are doing.
It comes after a selloff on Friday, which saw the Dow shed more than 120 points. But gains earlier in the week propelled stocks to their best week in more than five years. Last week was one of the most volatile we've seen in the market in some time, with the CBOE volatility index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, setting a new record above 80.
Offering stocks a boost was a drop in the cost of overnight lending rates between banks. The closely watched London Interbank Offer Rate, or Libor, slipped across the board, with the overnight rate dropping to 1.51 percent, while the 3-month rate declined to 4.06 percent.
And on the economic front, leading indicators rose for the first time in five months, climbing 0.3 percent in September. Economists had expected the gauge to slide 0.2 percent after a 0.9-percent drop in August.
The latest data "suggest that conditions in the nonfinancial economy are not falling apart," Ken Goldstein, the Conference Board's labor economist, said in a statement. "Data on hand reflect a contracting economy but not one in free fall."
American depositary shares of Dutch bank ING soared more than 10 percent after the bank received a $13.5 billion cash injection from the government.
(Anthony Chan, JP Morgan Private Wealth Management and Bob Andres, Portfolio Management Consultants, discuss the market outlook in the video).