The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose for the first time in a week as the price of crude oil tumbled, indicating that consumer spending may pick up.
The Dow advanced 29.07, or 0.4 percent, to 8332.85. The S&P 500 rose 3.99, or 0.5 percent, to 879.39, with consumer and drug shares contributing more than four-fifths of the gain.
The Nasdaq composite index fell for a fourth day, shedding 8.77, or 0.7 percent, to 1339.54.
The Dow and the S&P swung between gains and losses before turning higher as oil prices recorded their biggest decline in 10 weeks. Venezuela said it would double the country's oil production, restricted by a nationwide strike. Venezuela had been supplying about 9 percent of the oil used in the United States.
The drop in oil prices lifted retail shares. Wal-Mart rose $1.48, to $50.64; Target gained $1.35, to $30; and Gap advanced 74 cents, to $15.30.
J.C. Penney rose 82 cents, to $22.89. The No. 2 U.S. department store chain said sales at stores open at least a year increased a more-than-expected 4.5 percent in December.
Banks rose on the prospect of higher consumer credit card spending. Wells Fargo, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank, rose 78 cents, to $47.08; PNC Financial Services Group gained 93 cents, to $41.96; and MBNA climbed 44 cents, to $19.11.
Pfizer rose $1.02, to $30.81, after the world's largest drugmaker won U.S. approval for its migraine medicine Relpax. Pharmacia, which Pfizer is acquiring, gained $1.40, to $41.90.
GlaxoSmithKline's U.S. shares climbed 89 cents, to $36.81. A federal judge ruled in favor of the second-largest drugmaker, which is seeking to fend off cheaper competitors to its $3 billion-a-year Paxil.
Other drug shares also gained. Johnson & Johnson added 67 cents, to $53.78; Merck advanced 81 cents, to $56.81; and Eli Lilly rose $1.06, to $63.90.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries rose 75 cents, to $37.32. The world's largest maker of generic drugs received tentative U.S. clearance to sell a cheaper version of Merck's osteoporosis treatment Fosamax, which has annual sales of $1.5 billion. Teva still must overcome patent-infringement charges before it can sell the drug.
Network Appliance shed $1.07, or 9.9 percent, to $9.75. The stock may be overvalued because the firm faces competition from companies such as EMC and Dell Computer, Barron's said.
Home builders fell after an industry report showed that U.S. home resales declined in November for the first time in three months.
Lennar, the largest U.S. home builder by market value, slipped 65 cents, to $51.75; Centex fell 68 cents, to $50.12; and KB Home lost 38 cents, to $42.49.
* The New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 2.66, to 471.56; the American Stock Exchange index fell 0.60, to 820.79; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 1.93, to 382.23.
* Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 9 to 7 on the NYSE, where trading volume rose to 1.06 billion shares, from 768.3 million on Friday. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 14 to 9 and volume totaled 1.03 billion, up from 788.2 million.
* The price of the Treasury's 10-year note rose $1.25 per $1,000 invested, and its yield fell to 3.80 percent, from 3.81 percent on Friday.
* The dollar fell against the Japanese yen and the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 118.47 yen, down from 119.94 late Friday, and a euro bought $1.0482, up from $1.0433.
* Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery settled at $31.37 a barrel, down $1.35, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
* Gold for current delivery fell to $343.40 a troy ounce, from $349.20 on Friday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.