Financials pull stocks higher in biggest one-day gain in 6 weeks

Last week, stocks fell for a fourth straight week and the Dow dropped to 8,147, its lowest level since April 28. Since mid-June, investors have been giving back some of the 40-percent gains picked up during a vigorous rally that began in March. Concerns have been mounting that the rally was overdone and investors are now waiting for fresh signs the economy is actually improving instead of just weakening at a slower pace.

The gains in stocks cooled demand for the safety of government debt, hurting prices and lifting yields. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped to 3.35% from 3.30% late Friday.

The dollar was mostly lower against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Light, sweet crude fell 7 cents to $59.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 8.92, or 1.9%, to 489.90.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 651.7 million shares compared with 565.2 million at the same time Friday. The market's moves can be skewed when fewer shares are changing hands.

Overseas, Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.8%, Germany's DAX index gained 3.2%, and France's CAC-40 rose 2.3%. Japan's Nikkei stock average fell 2.6%.

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