U.S. stocks gained, sending the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index to a five-week high. Concern that rising energy costs may slow the economy eased as oil prices had their biggest decline this year.

The S&P 500 added 3.79, or 0.3 percent, to 1124.99, a level not seen since April 27. Eight of the S&P 500's 10 industry groups rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 60.32, or 0.6 percent, to 10,262.97, the highest in four weeks. The Nasdaq composite index slipped 1.79, or 0.1 percent, to 1988.98, for its first drop in eight days.

"We see earnings growth picking up and the economy having solid, broad growth," said Nathaniel Paull, who helps manage $3 billion at New Amsterdam Partners in New York. Energy prices "at this level will be offset by job growth and disposable income that goes along with it."

The benchmarks bounced between gains and losses for most of the day. The S&P 500 erased its loss by 1:30 p.m. as the decline in oil prices accelerated.

Qatar's energy minister, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, said OPEC should pump as much oil as possible to lower prices. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting today to discuss raising oil production to prevent higher energy costs.

Wal-Mart Stores gained 91 cents, to $56.35. American International Group rose 86 cents, to $73.86. The companies were among the biggest contributors to the Dow's advance.

Other retailers advanced after oil had its biggest decline since Nov. 24, allaying concerns that consumers would rein in their spending. Target, the No. 2 U.S. discounter, gained $1.12, to $45.38. Tiffany & Co., the No. 1 U.S. luxury jewelry retailer, added 95 cents, to $36.32. Circuit City Stores, the No. 2 U.S. electronics retailer, climbed 11 cents, to $12.26.

Airline shares, which have slumped this year as oil prices rose, rallied for the first day in five. Delta Air Lines, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, gained 39 cents, or 6.9 percent, to $6.08, for the biggest jump in the S&P 500. AMR, parent of American Airlines, rose 83 cents, to $12.18. Continental Airlines, the fifth-biggest carrier, climbed 86 cents, to $11.30.

The Labor Department's jobs report, due tomorrow, and the Institute for Supply Management's non-manufacturing index, scheduled to be out today, may signal a continued pickup in job creation and growth in the U.S. economy.

Gaithersburg-based MedImmune rose $1.07, to $25.07. The drugmaker may benefit from sales of its Synagis medicine for infant respiratory infections, wrote Steven Harr, an analyst at Morgan Stanley. He began following the stock with a rating of "overweight."

An index of computer-related companies declined, limiting the S&P 500's advance.

Applied Materials, the world's biggest maker of computer-chip production equipment, slid 63 cents, to $19.05.

KLA-Tencor, the world's biggest maker of semiconductor-inspection equipment, dropped $1.65, to $46.06. Teradyne, the No. 1 maker of semiconductor-testing equipment, fell 70 cents, to $21.27.

Fairchild Semiconductor International shed $1.37, to $18.13. The maker of computer chips for 50,000 customers said unpredictable customer orders may prevent it from meeting its sales forecast for an increase of about 5 percent in the second quarter from the previous period.

Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, will update investors on its second-quarter performance today. The shares fell 32 cents, to $28.01.

Other Indicators

* The New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 19.09, to 6506.34; the American Stock Exchange index fell 0.28, to 1202.82; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 1.07, to 573.56.

* Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 3 to 2 on the NYSE, where trading volume rose to 1.25 billion shares, from 1.23 billion on Tuesday. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, advancers narrowly outnumbered decliners and volume totaled 1.5 billion, up from 1.43 billion.

* The price of the Treasury's 10-year note fell $2.50 per $1,000 invested, and its yield rose to 4.74 percent, from 4.71 percent on Tuesday.

* The dollar fell against the Japanese yen and rose against the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 110.06 yen, down from 110.59 late Tuesday, and a euro bought $1.2226, down from $1.2232.

* Light, sweet crude oil for July delivery settled at $39.96, down $2.37, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

* Gold for current delivery fell to $391.60 a troy ounce, from $394.60 on Tuesday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.