Stocks opened higher Monday, coming off their best weekly performance in a month, after the Group of 20 pledged to keep stimulus in place until recovery was assured.
Finance ministers and central bankers from the G20 nations agreed over the weekend to keep stimulus flowing, sending the dollar down and stocks up.
The dollar fell across the board. Oil jumped above $79 a barreland gold hit a new record above $1,110 an ounce.
M&A activity also helped give the market a boost.
General Electric was among the Dow's top gainers following news that GE and Comcast have agreed on a valuation of around $30 billionfor a joint venture between NBC Universal and Comcast. GE is the parent of CNBC.
McDonald's was also among the Dow's top gainers after the fast-food chain said same-store sales slipped 0.1 percent but beat expectations. Stifel Nicolaus raised its fourth-quarter earnings estimate for the company by a penny to $1.04 a share; the current consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters is $1.02.
"We continue to have a positive outlook for continued momentum and industry-leading fundamentals," the analyst said.
In other M&A news, Kraft's proposed takeover of Cadburyturned hostile after Cadbury rejected Kraft's offer, calling it "derisory." Kraft hasn't raised its offer and, in fact, the offer is actually now worth less than it was when Kraft initially proposed it a few months ago as Kraft shares have dropped since then.
And Sprint Nextel said it will invest at least another $1 billion into Clearwire, a company it jointly owns with Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The partners are prepared to spend another $500 million, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The paper reported that Google , which also is a partner, isn't involved in the latest financing round.
Altria shares advanced after Barron's wrote that the tobacco products company was a bargain because of its low multiple, high yields and strong brands.
Good news for the auto sector: Parts maker Lear said it has emerged from bankruptcy protection with a healthier balance sheet and a backlog of new business.
Las Vegas Sands shares rose after the company and China's Minsheng bank set the price range for the upcoming public offering on the Hong Kong exchange. They hope to raise $7.35 billion with the offering.
Shares of retailer Gap fell after Barclays downgraded the company to "equal weight" from "overweight" over concerns on November sales.
As the end of the year approaches, more attention will be paid to just how strongly stocks have come back from the depths they reached back in March: Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are on pace to chalk up their best annual percentage gains since 2003.
No major economic releases are on the calendar for Monday.
The Treasury begins another record-setting week of auctions, as it sells $91 billion in 3-year notes, 10-year notes, and 30-year bonds beginning. Shortly after 1 pm New York time, we'll get the results of the first leg of those sales, with $40 billion in 3-year notes being sold.
The most notable of the day's earnings reports will come after the bell, as we get the latest quarterly numbers from Electronic Arts , Fluor , MBIA , and Priceline.com .
U.S.-traded shares of Nokia rose after the handset maker announced it will replace 14 million phone chargers made by China's BYDbecause of problems that could result in electric shock for consumers.
— Reuters contributed this article.
MONDAY: Banks' deadline for capital-raising plans; 20th anniversary of Berlin wall coming down; Three-year note auction; Earnings from Electronic Arts after the bell
TUESDAY: Obama in Asia; Geithner in Japan; Foreclosure-prevention summit; Fed's Lockhart, Yellen & Fisher speak; 10-year auction
WEDNESDAY: Veterans' Day (offices, bond market closed); Bill Gates speaks; Forbes most powerful people list; weekly mortgage applications; Earnings from Macy's, Applied Materials
THURSDAY: FDA meeting on Internet advertising starts; Buffett/Gates/CNBC Town Hall meeting; Geithner at APEC meeting in Singapore; weekly jobless claims; weekly crude inventories; Treasury budget; Earnings fro mWal-Mart, Disney
FRIDAY: NY Fed conference on financial intermediation; international trade; import/export prices; consumer sentiment; Nicholas Cosmo court appearance; Fed's Evans speaks; Earnings from JCPenney, Abercrombie
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