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US: Stocks rally despite new low in oil


[NEW YORK] US stocks rose on Monday, shrugging off another new multi-year low in oil prices and rebounding after suffering big declines late last week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 123.07 points (0.72 per cent) to 17,251.62.

The broad-based S&P 500 climbed 15.60 (0.78 per cent) to 2,021.15, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 45.84 (0.93 per cent) to 4,968.92.

US stocks were in positive territory virtually the entire session, despite a slide in Brent North Sea oil to a fresh 11-year low.

Weakness in oil and other commodities has dragged on US stocks for much of December.

"It's the first day the market is rising despite lower oil prices," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.

"Maybe there is a growing sense that the equity market is not tied as closely to oil as it has been the last couple of weeks."

Analysts said a 3.3 per cent drop in the S&P 500 on Thursday and Friday also positioned the market for gains due to bargain-hunting.

Apple rose 1.2 per cent as it reached an agreement with Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson to settle several patent disputes. Terms were not disclosed.

Disney fell 1.1 per cent despite reporting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens generated an estimated US$238 million in US and Canadian box office sales, shattering the previous opening-weekend record by about US$30 million.

Chipotle Mexican Grill shed 3.5 per cent on news that the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in investigating an outbreak of E. coli that may be unrelated to an outbreak that has plagued the chain restaurant.

The CDC said there were five cases of illness in three states starting November 18, affecting people who ate at Chipotle in the week before the outbreak started.

Banks gained, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, which rose 1.8 percent and 1.3 per cent.

Tech companies were also strong. Cisco Systems rose 1.4, Microsoft 1.3 per cent and Google parent Alphabet 1.1 per cent.