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Stocks Close Up Ahead of Fed

Stocks rose Monday amid expectations that the Fed may start another round of easing at Tuesday's meeting. Gregg Greenberg has The Real Story.

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Stocks posted modest gains Monday as the lack of economic releases had investors looking ahead to an upcoming monetary-policy setting meeting during which the

Fed could set the stage for another round of quantitative rate-easing.

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The

Federal Open Market Committee

is holding one of its eight regularly scheduled meetings on Tuesday, and the resulting statement will be closely watched.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 45 points, or 0.4%, to 10,699. The

S&P 500

went ahead by 6 points, or 0.6%, to 1128, and the

Nasdaq

added 17 points, or 0.8%, to 2306.

UBS economist Maury Harris doesn't believe there's much reason for the Fed to alter its statement or announce additional quantitative easing measures at this point.

"The data for July have been generally better than the data for June. Although recent data -- notably the payroll report -- have been disappointing, they have not been disastrous and do not warrant a resumption of asset purchases," Harris said.

"We do not see what the Fed would gain by delineating policies in advance or by implementing a policy, such as rolling over holdings of non-Treasury assets. This policy would add little stimulus to the economy -- the rollover would likely be into U.S. Treasuries -- but would signal a much higher level of new concerns about the economy," Harris added.

Global markets got a boost from news that

German exports climbed to a level not seen since late 2008.

Overseas, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.6%, while Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.7%. The FTSE in London added 1.5%, and the DAX in Frankfurt also gained 1.5%.

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The Economy

There are no economic releases scheduled for Monday's session.

>>Overview

>>Company News

>>Commodities and the Dollar

>>Treasuries

Company News

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

was the Dow's biggest laggard followed by

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

following late Friday's news of CEO Mark Hurd's resignation because of a sexual harassment investigation. The stock lost 8%, to $42.60.

Meanwhile,

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

was the Dow's second-best-performing stock after

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, following news that the restaurant chain's global sales jumped 7% in July helped partly by its new smoothie and frappe drink line. Shares gained 1.6% to $72.92.

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

and

Verizon

(VZ) - Get Report

pitched a net neutrality-type regulatory framework for Internet service, according to

The New York Times

, though the proposed framework also omitted wireless networks from such rules.

Online telephone company

Skype

filed to go public on the Nasdaq and aims to raise up to $100 million.

Over the weekend,

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

reached a preliminary agreement with the Saudi Arabian government that will allow BlackBerry service to continue operating there. Additionally, Bahrain has signaled that it doesn't intend to institute a ban, saying that the technological benefits of BlackBerry service outweigh possible national security threats posed by the devices. RIMM shares rose 3.5% to $55.32.

Nabors Industries

(NBR) - Get Report

agreed to acquire

Superior Well Services

(SWSI)

in a $900 million transaction that values Superior at $22.12 a share, representing a premium of 21.3% to Friday's closing price. Nabors' shares added 1.7% to $18.29, while Superior's stock soared by 21.1% to $22.08.

On Sunday,

BP

(BP) - Get Report

said pressure tests show the cement plug sealing its damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well to be solidly in place, which means the company can begin drilling the final 100 feet of a relief well. Shares inched 1.1% lower to $40.87.

In earnings news,

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

surpassed profit expectations with third-quarter earnings of 65 cents a share on sales that rose 11.5% year over year to $7.4 billion. Shares lost 5%, to $16.28.

E.W. Scripps

(SSP) - Get Report

said second-quarter earnings spiked to $1.56 a share, from 4 cents a share previously, boosted by the sale of its licensing business to

Iconix Brand Group

(ICON) - Get Report

for $175 million in June. Scripps shares gained 9.3%, to $8.44.

Dish Network

(DISH) - Get Report

topped Wall Street's expectations with a profit of 57 cents a share on sales of $3.17 billion, although the company said it lost 19,000 net subscribers during the quarter. Shares lost 10.2% to $18.72.

Quicksilver Resources

(KWK)

and

WellCare Group

(WCG) - Get Report

both reported better-than-expected profits, according to Briefing.com. Quicksilver's stock slipped 0.3% to $12.95 while shares of WellCare climbed 3.7%, to $28.58.

Chrysler

announced that it narrowed its second-quarter net loss to $172 million from $197 million a year after resurfacing from bankruptcy protection. Sales, meanwhile, rose 8.2%, to $10.5 billion.

Sara Lee

(SLE)

Chairman and CEO Brenda Barnes will step down from her positions to focus on her health. Barnes has been on medical leave since May 14 after suffering a stroke. The stock retreated by 0.2%, to $14.81.

An

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

executive whose responsibilities include hardware for the iPhone is leaving the company amid the antenna problems with the newest version of the device. Shares climbed 0.6%, to $261.75.

>>Overview

>>The Economy

>>Commodities and the Dollar

>>Treasuries

Commodities and the Dollar

Crude oil for September delivery finished 78 cents higher to settle at $81.48 a barrel.

Elsewhere in commodity markets, the December gold contract traded $2.70 lower to settle at $1,202.60 an ounce.

The dollar was trading higher against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index up by 0.4%.

>>Overview

>>The Economy

>>Company News

>>Treasuries

Treasuries

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was unchanged, holding the yield at 2.824%.

The two-year note was down by 2/32, strengthening the yield to 0.541%. The 30-year bond was down by 9/32, increasing the yield to 4.013%.

--Written by Melinda Peer and Sung Moss in New York

.

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>>The Economy

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.