Stocks Make a Late Run - TheStreet

Updated rom 4:05 p.m. EST

Stocks closed higher Monday after a late run as a strong dollar and declining bond yields outweighed higher oil prices.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 30.15 points, or .0.3% to 10,804.51, moving back in positive territory for the year, the

S&P 500

was up 6.75 points, or 0.6% at 1206.83, and the

Nasdaq Composite

closed up 9.44 points, or 0.5% to 2051.04 -- thanks partly to positive test data for



cancer drug Avastin. Genentech's stock surged almost 21%.

Closing volume was light. On the

New York Stock Exchange

, some 1.1 billion shares traded, with decliners beating advancers by a ratio of 7 to 5. Volume on the Nasdaq was 1.4 billion shares, with decliners beating advancers by a ratio of 6 to 4.

In other markets, the 10-year Treasury bond was up 8/32 to yield 4.51%. The April contract of oil closed higher by 1.41 to 54.95 ahead of OPEC's meeting.

"The light volume last Thursday and Friday suggests waning of downside pressure, but we should see an upward push this week in the market," said John Hughes, equity strategist at Shields & Co. "The market has learned how to deal with the price of crude oil, but interest rates seem to be the big concern for the market right now as it tries to figure out a comfort level. It creates a bit of uncertainty for some investors."

Energy stocks rebounded from early losses to close higher. Crude oil for April delivery added 57 cents to $54.95 a barrel.

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

was up 7 cents to $61.12, and



was up 0.71% to $79.62. OPEC's president was quoted by the

Associated Press

as saying the cartel would raise output by 500,000 barrels a day at its meeting Wednesday if prices remain at current levels.



jumped $8.97 a share after the company said Avastin in combination with chemotherapy was more effective in a phase III study at preventing death in non-small-cell lung cancer patients than chemo alone.

Gold futures closed lower on Monday as speculators took some off the table after last week's rally to 2005 highs. The April futures contracts closed at $441.60 an ounce, down $5.20.

Dave Briggs, head of equity trading at Federated Investors, cited recent mutual fund flow data in explaining the market's sudden malaise. "The lack of flow into the domestic market might be one factor that is causing this narrow trading range," said Briggs. "We are back in the trench warfare we spent eight months of last year with."

According to AMG Data, equity funds reported net cash inflows of $2.96 billion in the week ended March 9 but 80% of it went to nondomestic funds.


(IBM) - Get Report

said it will acquire

Ascential Software


for $18.50 a share in cash, or about $1.1 billion. Ascential makes software for integrating disparate corporate systems. Its shares closed Friday at $15.70. Shares of IBM were trading up 21 cents to $91.72, and shares of Ascential Software were trading at $18.29, up $2.59.


Philip Morris International

struck a deal to buy a 40% stake in Indonesia's third-largest tobacco firm and plans to make an open-market tender for the rest. The


(MO) - Get Report

unit is bidding more than $5 billion overall for

PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna

. Altria's stock was up 10 cents, to $65.24.

Tech stocks gathered steam after

LSI Logic

(LSI) - Get Report

raised its first-quarter revenue guidance on the basis of strength in consumer and storage-component product lines. The chipmaker now sees sales of $420 million to $435 million, up from its previous range of $400 million to $415 million. The stock was trading up 2.31%, to $6.20.


(DIS) - Get Report

edged higher after the company Sunday named Robert Iger to succeed Michael Eisner as CEO in September. Iger, the company's president, reportedly became the board's No. 1 choice when


(EBAY) - Get Report

CEO Meg Whitman dropped her candidacy over the weekend. The stock is trading up 30 cents, to $27.89.

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

is also in the news Monday after

The Wall Street Journal

reported that its CEO, Maurice Greenberg, plans to retire as early as this week, under pressure from the board over a creeping litany of regulatory issues. Greenberg has been at the top of the insurance giant for the better part of four decades. Co-Chief Operating Officer Martin Sullivan will reportedly be named interim CEO. The stock was trading at $63.71, down 1.55%.


(CAT) - Get Report

was downgraded to hold Monday at Legg Mason, which argued shares of the tractor company are unlikely to rise from current levels with margins under pressure. The brokerage lowered its 2005 earnings estimate to $7.20 a share from $7.50. Caterpillar was currently trading down 2.49%, to $96.53.

International Paper

(IP) - Get Report

agreed to sell its Industrial Papers Business to Kohlberg & Co. for $180 million, subject to certain adjustments at closing. The business includes the lightweight packaging and pressure-sensitive papers segments and related converting assets. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2005.The stock is currently up 17 cents, to $39.42.

Overseas markets were mostly mixed, with London's FTSE 100 closing down 0.14% to 4975 and Germany's Xetra DAX finished up 0.16% to 4367.30. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.6% to 11,850, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1% to 13,907.