Stocks Close Near Session Highs

A government bureau makes it official: the economy's expansion has ended.
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Updated from 3:43 p.m. EST

Stocks ended near their session highs Monday after investors spent much of the day weighing reports from the retail sector and news that the U.S. economy is officially in recession.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 23.04 points, or 0.2%, to 9982.75. The

Nasdaq rose 38.03 points, or 2%, to 1941.23, andthe

S&P 500 was up 7.08 points, or 0.6%, at 1157.42.

The six-member National Bureau of Economic Research reached a formaldetermination that the U.S. has entered its first recession since 1990-91,ending the longest period of economic expansion on record. The group uses agauge that includes industrial production, employment, retail trade andpersonal income.

Holiday retail sales were generally believed to be slightly higher thana year ago despite steep declines in mall traffic. According tocheck-clearing firm TeleCheck Services, same-store sales were up 2.4% onFriday compared with a year earlier.

Several companies' stocks rose based on the weekend's results.

Pier1

(PIR) - Get Report

saidearnings in its third fiscal quarter will be 21 cents to 23 cents a share,up from previous estimates of 19 cents to 21 cents, on a 6% to 8% gain inNovember same-store sales. The company's shares rose 74 cents, 5.3%, to $14.71.

Chipmakers had a strong session partly due to

TaiwanSemiconductor

(TSM) - Get Report

, which raised its revenue guidance citing a substantial increase incustomer orders. The stock gained 88 cents, or 5.6%, to $16.58.

The sector was also taking encouragement from

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, which said it developed new transistor technology designed to increase data-processingspeed. The stock climbed 81 cents, or 2.6%, to $31.87. The Philadelphia Stock ExchangeSemiconductor Index was up 4.2%.

Meanwhile,

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

was higher after saying unit sales jumped sharplyover the weekend from a year ago. Shares of the e-tailer traded up $3.13,or 34.5%, to $12.21.

Overseas markets were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 up 0.2% at 5303.Germany's Xetra DAX lost 0.7% to 5114. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei indexgained 3.4% to 11,064 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6% to 11,392.

Crude oil continued to tumble after Russia balked at matching OPEC'sproposed production cuts. Brent crude for January settlement fell as muchas 3.5% in London, extending losses from Friday.

Lucent

(LU)

was falling after being downgraded by Morgan Stanley on valuationconcerns. The stock lost 41 cents, or 4.9%, to $7.98 after thefirm said it sees fair value for the shares around $8.

Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year Treasury was off 9/32 to 99 26/32, yielding 5.02%.