) -- Santa Claus has come and gone, but the rally in stocks will live on this week, say participants in


latest Bull vs. Bear survey.

As of 5 a.m. EST Monday, the poll finds survey-takers who were bullish on stocks tallying 263 votes, or 54.8%, of the 480 total votes cast. Bears came in with 121 votes, or 25.2%, while those neutral on stocks this week were at 96 votes, or 20%.

The commercial banks sector was picked as the sector most likely to rise this week, while the precious metals sector was expected to lead the laggards.

Stocks ended last week with gains

. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 0.7%, the

S&P 500

rose 1%, and the tech-heavy


index jumped 0.9%. The Dow and S&P 500 have risen for four straight weeks, while Nasdaq has risen for five.

Two items on the economic calendar

will attract investors' attention this week -- the Consumer Confidence Index on Tuesday, and the pending-home sales report on Thursday.

Analysts expect consumer confidence in December to have risen two points to 56, while pending-home sales in November are expected to increase by 1%.

Stocks to watch this week include retailers such as


(WMT) - Get Report



(TGT) - Get Report


Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report


Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

as shoppers go to the stores for after-Christmas specials. Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 makes up less than 10% of the Nov. 1-Dec. 31 season, ShopperTrak says, but it accounts for more than 15% percent of holiday spending, the

Associated Press

reports. A weekend snowstorm up and down the East Coast, however, could prevent consumers from hitting the malls.

Premarket futures were suggesting U.S. stocks would open lower Monday, the final trading week of 2010.

Asian stocks ended mixed Monday after

China raised interest rates over

the weekend in an effort to stop rising inflation. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.9% Shares in Paris and Frankfurt at 5 a.m. were lower. Markets in London were closed.

> > Bull or Bear? Vote in Our Poll

The poll closes at 9:15 a.m.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel in New York.