Investors regained some optimism about the economy Monday after upbeat quarterly profits from home improvement chain Lowe's Cos.
Some buying was to be expected after a pullback last week interrupted a rally that has lifted the Standard & Poor's 500 index more than 30 percent since early March.
Investors are again examining the housing market for clues about the economy. Lowe's, the nation's second largest home improvement chain, posted a 22 percent drop in its first-quarter earnings but results topped Wall Street's forecasts. The company also raised its full-year profit projection.
The National Association of Home Builders is set to release its index of builders' confidence for May at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Steep losses on home values are one of the economy's biggest trouble spots because it is hurting banks and consumers.
Financial stocks, which fell last week, turned higher after on a handful of upbeat reports from analysts. BMO Capital Markets upgraded its view of the banking sector because of expectations that more normalized earnings potential will return to the sector in coming quarters. Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove noted the potential for "explosive earnings growth and unusually strong stock price performance" for banks as the economy recovers.
Election results also pleased investors in India and some buying carried over into Indian stocks listed in the U.S.
In the first hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 114.37, or 1.4 percent, to 8,383.01. The broader S&P 500 index rose 11.56, or 1.3 percent, to 894.44, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 19.78, or 1.2 percent, to 1,699.92.
In corporate news, banking company State Street Corp. said it plans to raise funds through stock and debt offerings as part of an effort to repay the $2 billion the government loaned as part of its financial rescue last fall. State Street, which specializes in serving institutional investors and wealthy customers, said it expects to raise $1.45 billion from the stock offer alone. State Street rose 97 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $39.48.
Lowe's rose $1.38, or 7.5 percent, to $19.83.
India's Infosys Technologies Ltd. rose $3.55, or 11 percent, to $35.57, while Sify Technologies Ltd. rose 51 cents, or 40 percent, to $1.80.