Stocks climbed for the third week in a row, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index and the Nasdaq Stock Market composite index into positive territory for the year.
The S&P gained 15 points to 1234.72, leaving it 23 points or 1.9 percent higher since New Year's Eve. The Nasdaq composite climbed 33 points to 2202.47, which put that index up 27 points or 1.2 percent year-to-date.
The Dow Jones industrial average, however, remains down for the year by 97 points, a little less than 1 percent. The Dow rose 155 points to 10,686.04 last week.
The market benefited from improving oil prices, which dropped 5 percent last week and now -- at under $58 a barrel -- are their lowest since July. As oil prices fall, investors are feeling better about the Christmas season. They figure that if oil is cheap enough, kids won't get a lump of coal in their stocking after all.
The market also has finally come to terms with interest rates. Though mortgage rates are now starting to slow home sales, most Wall Streeters now believe the economy will continue to grow even though rates keep going up.
-- Jerry Knight