NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks rose Monday, recouping some of last week's losses, as better-than-expected results from Exxon Mobil ( XOM) and positive economic data offset concerns about the escalating tensions in Egypt. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 68 points, or 0.6%, at 11,892. The S&P 500 added 10 points, or 0.7%, to close at 1286, and the Nasdaq Composite tacked on 13 points, or 0.5%, to settle at 2700. Overall, stocks continued to grind higher in January with the Dow gaining 2.7%. The S&P 500 rose 2.2%, while the Nasdaq advanced 1.7%. Brent crude crossed the $100 a barrel level for the first time since October 2008 on Friday, and the March light, sweet crude contract rose 3% to settle at $92.19.
Political unrest in Egypt as Egyptians called for an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule created some concern that protests in Cairo would shut down the Suez Canal, an important waterway for oil shippers. According to media reports, the canal remains open and is not experiencing delays. Moody's downgraded Egypt's government bond rating to Ba2 from Ba1 and changed the outlook to negative from stable. The U.S. markets managed to stay calm on Monday despite the lingering concerns about Egypt. Energy stocks were a bright spot after Dow component Exxon Mobil posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Exxon said earnings rose 53% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, and the oil company's profit of $1.85 a share topped Wall Street's view of $1.63 a share. Sales were also better than expected at $105.19 billion, compared with the $99.11 billion that analysts had forecast. Exxon's stock was up by 1.2% at $79.93. Alcoa ( AA), Caterpillar ( CAT) and Chevron ( CVX) were among the biggest percentage gainers within the Dow, which saw 21 of its 30 components finish higher on Monday. Overall, 1.1 billion shares changed hands on the Big Board, while volumes exceeded 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Breadth was positive with 67% of NYSE-listed stocks finishing higher while 30% closed lower. Consumer staples were weak Monday with Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Procter & Gamble ( PG) serving as the Dow's biggest laggards. Shares of Intel ( INTC) came under pressure after the chip giant discovered a design error in its recently-released Cougar Point support chip and stopped shipping the flawed chipset. The company cut first-quarter sales guidance by $300 million but said full-year revenue isn't expected to be materially impacted. The stock finished flat at $21.27. Shares of Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD), the No. 2 chip company, jumped 4.5% to $7.83 on the news.
Earlier Monday, the Commerce Department said personal income rose 0.4% in December as personal spending gained 0.7%, compared with increases of 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, in November. The growth was largely in line with expectations. According to Briefing.com, economists had projected personal income growth of 0.5% and personal spending was slated to increase by 0.6%. Personal income expenditures were unchanged in December after rising 0.1% in November. The market had been anticipating an uptick of 0.1%.
"The income and spending report for December caps a strong holiday shopping season where consumers exceeded expectations that broke a string of three consecutive disappointing holiday shopping seasons, " said PNC Chief Economist Stuart Hoffman. "However, it does look like consumers got ahead of themselves by December, spending faster than overall job growth will support, and therefore they are likely to dial it back in January and/or February."
Manufacturing activity in the Chicago area strengthened in January as the Chicago Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index jumped to a reading of 68.8 from 66.8 in December. Wall Street had expected a January reading of 65, according to Briefing.com. In other news, a federal judge in Florida ruled that the health care law's requirement to carry insurance or pay a fee violated the Constitution. In Monday's deals activity, Massey Energy ( MEE) will be acquired by rival coal supplier Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR). Massey's stock jumped 9.8% to $62.89 while Alpha's stock shed 7% at $53.73. Sanofi-Aventis ( SNY) has reached an agreement in principle on the outlines of the deal to buy Genzyme ( GENZ), according to various press reports. Shares of Sanofi rose 3.1% to $34.39 while Genzyme gained 3.2% to $73.20. Shares of Pall ( PLL) soared 13.8% to $55.40 after a Credit Suisse analyst suggested that the retirement of its CEO might make it a takeover target for larger companies.
Cnooc ( CEO), China's largest offshore oil and gas producer, will invest up to $1.3 billion in a new agreement with Chesapeake Energy ( CHK),
expanding its presence in the U.S. shale oil and gas industry. Chesapeake's stock jumped 8% to $29.55 and shares of Cnooc edged up 0.8% at $222.66. Shares of Gannett ( GCI) shares shed 2.9% to $14.74 after the company's fourth-quarter earnings came in below analysts' expectations . Ford ( F) was another prominent loser on the S&P 500, dropped 1.9% to $15.94 after it disappointed expectations on Friday. Analysts have cut back estimates but maintained buy recommendations, After the bell, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC) said profits fell 52% to $111 million or 22 cents per share. Adjusted for one off items, profits came in at 29 cents, beating estimates for 18 cents. The stock was down 1% in aftermarket trading. Baidu ( BIDU) saw its stock rise 8% in aftermarket hours after it said revenue nearly doubled in the fourth quarter. Baidu.com said it earned $175.9 million, or 50 cents per American Depositary Share, in the three months ended Dec. 31 on revenue of $371.3 million. On a non-GAAP basis, excluding share-based compensation expense, the company earned 52 cents per ADS. The most actively traded April gold contract shed $7.20 to settle at $1,334.50 an ounce. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.5%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury fell 14/32, lifting the yield to 3.384%. . Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.7%, and Japan's Nikkei lost 1.2%. London's FTSE finished 0.3% lower and the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.4%. --Written by Melinda Peer and Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.