U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with retailers including Urban Outfitters gaining as investors bet lower gasoline prices will translate into increased sales as consumers shop for holiday gifts.
“It’s a theme we’re moving back to again, it’s all about the consumer. This is Black Friday, and we have more confident consumers going out shopping this year, especially because of lower gas prices,” Chris Gaffney, senior market strategist at EverBank, said of the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals surged after Bloomberg News reported the biotechnology company was exploring a sale. Platinum Underwriters Holdings rose after the reinsurer said RenaissanceRe Holdings would purchase it.
United Technologies fell after the maker of elevators, helicopters and jet engines said Chief Executive Officer Louis Chenevert had retired and was being replaced by the company’s finance chief.
Monday’s economic data had the U.S. services sector expanding in November at a slower rate than the prior month as growth in new business slowed.
After wavering on either side of neutral, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7.84 points to 17,817.90, its highest finish, with Intel and Walt Disney pacing gains and AT&T and Verizon Communications leading blue-chip losses after Citigroup lowered its rating on Verizon.
After coming less than 2 points from its intraday record hit Friday, the S&P 500 climbed 5.92 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,069.42, with consumer discretionary and technology leading gains and telecommunications and utilities pacing losses among its 10 major industry groups.
Near session highs, the Nasdaq gained 41.92 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,754.89.
For every share falling, nearly two rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where 709 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.1 billion.
The U.S. dollar declined against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note used to figure mortgage rates and other consumer loans fell a basis point to 2.2976 percent.
Crude futures for January delivery declined 73 cents, or 1 percent, to $75.78 a barrel.
On Friday, U.S. stocks ended the week at highs as markets rallied on overseas central banks’ stimulus efforts and an encouraging domestic outlook.
“On Friday we had China cut rates, and over the weekend (European Central Bank President Mario) Draghi and other ECB members suggested they will be at the ready with sovereign bond buying if needed. I think investors are figuring central banks are going to be very accommodative through most of 2015,” said Gaffney at EverBank.
“There is no alternative right now, there is no yield to be found anywhere. We’re in a low interest-rate environment, and there’s increased merger activity; that is boosting things,” Gaffney added.
—By CNBC’s Kate Gibson
Coming Up This Week:
Earnings: Hewlett-Packard, Tiffany, Campbell Soup, Tivo, Chico’s FAS, Analog Devices, Hormel Foods, Pall Corp, Cracker Barrel, Eaton Vance, Dangdabng
8:30 a.m. Eastern: Q3 GDP
9:00 a.m.: S&P/Case-Shiller home prices
900 a.m. FHFA HPI
10:00 a.m.: Consumer confidence