U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight day as oil dropped below $60 a barrel, easing the threat that energy costs will curtail consumer spending.

Retailers led the advance as lower crude prices reassured investors before the industry reports third-quarter results next week. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed to its highest in seven weeks, rising 55.47, or 0.5 percent, to 10,586.23.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 2.67, or 0.2 percent, to 1222.81, for its fourth straight gain, the longest streak since Sept. 30. The Nasdaq composite index advanced 8.81, or 0.4 percent, to 2178.24.

"Oil prices were a tax on the economy, and that's now amounting to a tax cut," said Greg Fuss, who helps manage more than $20 billion at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth.

The Dow was propped up by Citigroup after the company's largest investor, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said he expects the shares to rebound. The benchmark is at a level not seen since Sept. 16.

Crude oil for December delivery retreated as higher-than-normal temperatures in the United States reduced demand for heating fuels.


Gap, the largest U.S. clothing chain, jumped 81 cents, to $18.08. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Nov. 17.

Citigroup rose 83 cents, to $46.43, and was the top contributor to the S&P 500's gain. Prince Alwaleed, who owns 4.3 percent of the lender, said the shares may rise more than 50 percent to reach $70 in the next year as Citigroup puts a series of scandals behind it and investors focus on earnings growth.

Exxon Mobil lost 80 cents, to $57.10, as an index of energy shares slumped 1.6 percent. Chevron, the No. 2 U.S. oil company, fell 61 cents, to $57.40.

Qualcomm, the world's No. 2 maker of chips that run mobile phones, slipped 16 cents, $44.64. The company said its stock buyback is $1.5 billion higher than an existing program and should boost earnings per share.

Northrop Grumman added 13 cents, to $55.28. The company said it bought back $500 million in stock through an accelerated repurchase agreement with Credit Suisse First Boston.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 11.86, to 7519.42.

American Stock Exchange index fell 0.63, to 1684.06.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 3.08, to 661.24.


NYSE: 1.98 billion shares, down from 2.05 billion on Friday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 9 to 7.

Nasdaq: 1.61 billion shares, down from 1.72 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 9 to 7.


Crude oil for December delivery: $59.47, down $1.11.

Gold for current delivery: $459 a troy ounce, up from $456.30 on Friday.