Last Updated Nov 2, 2015 5:46 PM EST
NEW YORK - Stocks posted solid gains Monday, adding to last month's big advances and pushing the Dow Jones industrial average into positive territory for 2015. Several companies moved on news, including Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Visa (V).
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 165.22 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 17,828.76. The gain made the Dow the last of the three major U.S. market indexes to return to positive territory for 2015.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 24.69 points, or 1.2 percent, ending at 2,104.05, and the Nasdaq composite rose 73.40 points, or 1.5 percent, to finish at 5,127.15.
Health care stocks continued to rally. Drug giant Pfizer rose $1.24, or 3.7 percent, to $35.05, the second-biggest gain in the Dow. The shares slumped late last week on word Pfizer is in talks to buy competitor Allergan (AGN).
AbbVie, which surged 10 percent Friday on strong third-quarter results, climbed $3.83, or 6.4 percent, to $63.38 after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock.
Health care stocks gained 2 percent, nearly twice as much as the broader S&P 500 index. Energy stocks rose even more, 2.4 percent. Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX), Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and others rose 3 percent or more.
Visa was among the biggest decliners. The payments processor gave up $2.36, or 3 percent, to close at $75.22 after saying it would buy its sister company Visa Europe in a deal that could be worth more than $23 billion. Visa warned that 2016 earnings could be hurt as the company finances the debt and stock to pay for the deal.
A lot of focus for investors is on company earnings, which continue to roll out this week. Earnings season is nearly through, and the stock market has recovered significantly as companies have reported somewhat better results than initially expected.
With 340 companies out of the S&P 500 reporting, third-quarter earnings are down 2.2 percent compared to a year earlier. When earnings season began, analysts were looking for earnings to be down 5.2 percent.
"Companies continue to grind out modestly better earnings than we expected, and if you exclude energy, things actually don't look too bad," said Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.
In other company news, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) officially split into two companies over the weekend. HP Inc., which will sell personal computers and printers, rose $1.59, or 13 percent, to $13.83. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will sell commercial computer systems, software and tech services. Its stock edged down 23 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $14.49.
Chipotle Mexican Grill stumbled as an E. coli outbreak linked to restaurants in Oregon and Washington state spread. The restaurant chain has shut down all 43 of its locations in those states. More than 20 people have gotten sick, and that number is expected to increase as word of the outbreak spreads. No deaths have been reported. Chipotle lost $16.23, or 2.5 percent, to $624.
In other markets, U.S. crude oil fell 45 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $46.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international oils, slid 77 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $48.79 a barrel in London.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline edged up 0.4 cent to $1.375 a gallon in New York, heating oil fell a penny to $1.507 a gallon and natural gas fell 6.5 cents to $2.256 per 1,000 cubic feet.
U.S government bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.18 percent from 2.15 percent Friday. The dollar edged up to 120.74 yen from 120.70 yen and the euro rose to $1.1022 from $1.1003.
Precious and industrial metals futures closed mixed. Gold fell $5.50 to $1,135.90 an ounce, silver fell 16 cents to close at $15.41 an ounce and copper edged up less than a penny to $2.32 a pound.