A drop in oil prices and upbeat outlooks from Wal-Mart and Lowe's helped send stocks sharply higher Monday on Wall Street, with the swing exaggerated by thin late summer trading.

Volume was light on Wall Street, even with the retail sector's rare good news, as many investors were tentative, hoping for better economic news in the week ahead.

Falling oil prices and good retail news helped shares recover from last week's volatile trading.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 129.20, or 1.3 percent, to 9954.55; the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index advanced 14.54, or 1.4 percent, to 1079.34; the Nasdaq composite index was up 25.62, or 1.5 percent, at 1782.84.

The market shrugged off a disappointing drop in the U.S. Empire State Manufacturing Index.

Venezuela's continuity of government eased oil concerns, and a smooth start to the Olympic Games in Athens helped reduce fears of terrorism.

Wall Street will be looking closely at Tuesday's consumer price index, hoping to see signs that the rise in oil prices this summer have not unduly affected the price of goods and services. A better-than-expected reading could result in an extension of Monday's rally, while a poor reading will likely result in a sell-off, analysts said.

Wal-Mart Stores was up 90 cents at $54.30 after reporting in a weekly update that sales for August were in line with expectations so far.

Lowe's rose $2.49 to $49.14, although its earnings missed Wall Street estimates by 2 cents a share.

Kmart Holding surged 17 percent, or $11.15, to $76.05 after the company posted its third consecutive quarterly profit after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

Shares of Gateway climbed 33 cents to $4.11 after the struggling computer company announced that CompUSA would begin selling its desktop products later this week. The decision follows the closure of its 188 retail stores in April.

Other Indicators

* The New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 81.11, to 6315.95; the American Stock Exchange index rose 5.35, to 1215.36; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 10.67, to 528.06.

* Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones by 7 to 2 on the NYSE, where trading volume rose to 1.2 billion shares, from 1.17 billion on Friday. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, advancers outnumbered decliners by 125 to 1 and volume totaled 1.27 billion, down from 1.41 billion.

* The price of the Treasury's 10-year note fell $2.81 per $1,000 invested, and its yield rose to 4.27 percent, from 4.23 percent on Friday.

* The dollar fell against the Japanese yen and rose against the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 110.53 yen, down from 110.57 late Friday, and a euro bought $1.2355, down from $1.2373.

* Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery settled at $46.05, down 53 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

* Gold for current delivery rose to $402.90 a troy ounce, from $398.90 on Friday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.