The S&P 500 closed higher for a fifth straight sessions, posting its best daily performance since August 1, while all 10 S&P sectors ended higher. More than 70 percent of companies that trade on both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq rose.
The Dow added nearly 140 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were each up about 1%. These indexes are up between 15% and 23% for the year. U.S. stocks managed to eke out gains last week, despite a weaker-than-expected jobs report Friday.
The market, which had been trading higher all day, rallied further after Secretary of State John Kerry made comments that appeared to open the door to a diplomatic alternative in Syria instead of military strikes.
Deal news gave a further boost to market confidence. Koch Industries agreed to buy electronic connectors maker Molex for about USD 7.2 billion. Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board reached a deal to buy privately owned US luxury retailer Neiman Marcus for USD 6 billion.
Shares of homebuilders rallied on bets of a cap on mortgage rates, which had risen recently. US Treasuries yields fell from two-year highs as investors bet the Fed may reduce bond purchases more slowly than previously thought. The PHLX housing sector index jumped 3.9 while PulteGroup added 7.5 percent at USD 16.63.