By Rodrigo Campos
Earnings from companies, including Gannett Co Inc <GCI.N>, which beat analysts' expectations, and positive broker commentary on Caterpillar Inc <CAT.N> further encouraged investors looking for confirmation the economy is healing.
After the closing bell, Apple Inc <AAPL.O> extended the stocks' momentum following the iPhone maker's results that also beat estimates and lifted U.S. stock index futures. Its shares jumped 7 percent in extended trading.
"The fact that they beat as aggressively as they have tells me that they are selling music, telephones and personal computers in a market where everyone has thought up until now that the consumer is dead," said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Investors in New York.
"So clearly the rumors of the demise of the American consumer have been greatly exaggerated. Either that or Apple is just doing a phenomenal job that consumers can't help themselves, they have to buy their products."
Consumer spending is a closely watched economic indicator, as it accounts for roughly two-thirds of the U.S. economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 96.28 points, or 0.96 percent, to end at 10,092.19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 10.23 points, or 0.94 percent, to 1,097.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 19.52 points, or 0.91 percent, to 2,176.32.
The Dow industrials and the S&P 500 closed at levels not seen since October 2008, while Nasdaq is at an almost 13-month closing high.
APPLE JUMPS AFTER THE BELL
Apple's stock rose above $203 in extended trading after the company reported better-than-expected results as iPhone and Mac sales hit quarterly records. Apple shares jumped 7 percent to $203.23.
Chip maker Texas Instruments Inc <TXN.N> also posted quarterly profit and revenue that exceeded Wall Street's estimates on better-than-expected chip demand, boosting its shares 2 percent after the bell.
During regular trading, Caterpillar led the Dow industrials, gaining 6 percent to $57.85 after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch raised its price target to $65 from $52, and increased its 2010 and 2011 earnings-per-share expectations, citing a faster recovery in machinery revenue next year. Caterpillar is set to report results on Tuesday.
Gannett Co Inc <GCI.N> jumped 8.2 percent to $14.06 after the largest U.S. newspaper publisher posted lower quarterly profit, but still beat expectations amid cost cutting.
Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp <ETN.N> rose 5.7 percent to $63.89 after it reported profit that beat estimates and said it saw early signs of recovery in its markets.
As of noon Monday, 62 companies in the S&P 500 had reported earnings, with 79 percent above analysts' expectations, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
This week's earnings include 13 Dow components and 135 companies in the S&P 500.
In other news, the Market Vector Agribusiness ETF <MOO.P> gained 3.1 percent, with U.S.-traded shares of Potash Corp of Saskatchewan <POT.N> up 6.5 percent at $103.71 after a research report speculated that miner BHP Billiton <BHP.AX> <BHP.N> could afford offering a 30 percent premium to acquire the Canadian fertilizer maker.
HOME BUILDERS OFF, VOLUME THIN
Home builders' shares slid, with the Dow Jones home construction index <.DJUSHB> down 1.3 percent. KB Home <KBH.N> dropped 2.3 percent to $15.46.
Frank Husic, managing partner and chief investment officer of Husic Capital Management in San Francisco, said the home building sector's shares were hurt by concerns the current $8,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers, which expires on November 30, would not be extended.
Volume was light on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, with 1.08 billion shares changing hands, sharply below last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion. On the Nasdaq about 2 billion shares traded, short of last year's daily average of 2.28 billion.
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of about 14 to 5, while on the Nasdaq, about nine shares rose for every five that fell.
Monday's rally coincided with the 22nd anniversary of Black Monday, as October 19, 1987, is known, which was the day the Dow industrials fell 22.6 percent -- still the largest daily percentage drop on record.
(Additional reporting by Ellis Mnyandu)