U.S. stocks, buoyed by well-received earnings reports and lower oil prices today, wrapped up their longest series of weekly gains since July.

Monsanto, the world's biggest developer of genetically modified crops, issued a stronger forecast, and Kohl's, a department-store chain, posted higher profits than analysts expected. The companies helped lead the market rise.

General Motors led gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after union workers ratified a contract that may cut health care costs. The Dow climbed 45.94, or 0.4 percent, to 10,686.04.

Broader indicators also closed higher.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index added 3.76, or 0.3 percent, to 1234.72. The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.79, or 0.3 percent, to 2202.47.

Oil prices dropped 5 percent this week, helping the S&P 500 gain 1.2 percent. The benchmark jumped 4.7 percent over the past three weeks, the biggest rally of that length since November 2004.

The Dow average added 1.5 percent this week, also its third consecutive weekly advance. The Nasdaq completed a four-week rally, increasing 1.5 percent in the last five days.

U.S. stock markets were open while many businesses and the bond market was closed for the Veteran's Day holiday.

Crude oil for December delivery fell 0.5 percent in New York to its lowest close since July 21 as rising imports make up for production lost to storms.

"This is going to make the consumer feel better coming into the Christmas season," said John Kornitzer, who manages $6 billion at Kornitzer Capital Management in Shawnee Mission, Kan. "We'll have a year-end rally."


Monsanto rose $3.56, to $69.82. The company yesterday boosted its fiscal 2007 profit forecast to as much as $3 a share from an earlier projection of up to $2.93, on expectations for rising seed sales.

Kohl's rose $1.56, to $50.68, after the company said third-quarter profit rose to 45 cents a share, from 39 cents.

General Motors rose 97 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $24.48 for the top performance in the Dow.

Dell rose 19 cents, to $29.40, after the company said it will buy back at least $1.7 billion in stock.

ImClone Systems fell 51 cents, to $32.05, after the maker of the Erbitux cancer drug said chief executive Daniel Lynch resigned. It didn't cite a reason for his departure and said it was by "mutual agreement" with the board.

King Pharmaceuticals fell 77 cents, to $15.40. King's agreement to pay Pain Therapeutics as much as $400 million for joint development of oxycodone-based painkillers is too expensive, J.P. Morgan analyst Corey Davis wrote.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 31.27, to 7561.40.

American Stock Exchange index rose 14.69, to 1696.58.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 1.73, to 666.66.


NYSE: 1.78 billion shares, down from 2.39 billion on Thursday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 4 to 3.

Nasdaq: 1.45 billion shares, down from 1.95 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 6 to 5.


Crude oil for December delivery: $57.53, down 27 cents.

Gold for current delivery: $468.30 a troy ounce, up from $466.60 on Thursday.