U.S. stocks climbed Monday, lifting the Dow above 18,000 for the first time since July 20, 2015.
Stabilizing oil prices and diminishing fears about China's economy has eased worries that a slowdown overseas would hit the U.S. economy, according to one veteran market observer.
"The psychology has changed quite a bit from the beginning of the year. Investors have had to rethink that worst-case scenario and are starting to price in potential growth," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, noting that the S&P 500 is up 2.5 percent for the year. "From the deep selloff that we experienced in the first six weeks of the year to now, the fear of recession has subsided."
Making a triple-digit advance, the Dow Jones industrial average (I:DJI) rose 107 points, or 0.6 percent, to 18,004. Energy led gains among the 10 sectors on the Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPX), which added almost 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,094. The Nasdaq composite index (I:COMP) gained 22 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,960.
Stocks rose despite talks in Doha, Qatar, failing to yield a summit on freezing production to support oil prices. Still, while the inability to reach agreement initially knocked prices, losses were curbed amid a strike that cut production in Kuwait.
U.S. crude finished down 59 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $39.77 a barrel in New York. Earlier, the price was far lower, down 7 percent.
Walt Disney (DIS) and Hasbro (HAS) led the uptick, boosting consumer discretionary shares. Hasbro jumped after reporting better results than analysts were expecting. The toy company benefited from strong sales of "Star Wars," ''Frozen" and Disney princess products.
Walt Disney shares joined Hasbro in rallying after "The Jungle Book" commanded the weekend box office, raking in more than $100 million.