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U.S. stocks climb, with energy shares leading

U.S. stocks mostly rose on Monday, with benchmarks not far from their records, as an increase in oil prices lifted the energy sector and countered declines in industrials.

"The market continues to celebrate a weaker dollar and a stable oil price today," Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, told CBS MoneyWatch.

"The Fed has put us all on data watch and there will be plenty to watch this week," said Hogan, listing economics reports in coming days that include February's consumer price index, or CPI, housing reports, a measure of consumer confidence and the final read on U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter.

As of 12:05 p.m. ET, the Dow industrials (DJI) were up 43 points, or 0.2 percent, at 18,171.

The S&P 500 (SPX) rose 0.1 percent to 2,111.

After nearly clearing its losses last week from the end of the dot-com bubble, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) slipped from a 15-year high, off almost 4 points, or 0.1 percent, at 5,023.

Oilfield-services supplier Schlumberger (SLB) said it anticipates global spending by the oil-and-gas industry on productions and exploration to fall as much as 15 percent next year, as the sharp drop in global oil prices in recent months prompts spending cutbacks.

Brent crude futures rose 49 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $55.81 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate added 40 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $46.97, with a weaker dollar helping neutralize thoughts of a global oil glut.

"There are four Fed speakers scheduled for today and Tuesday, which can often be market moving," said Hogan.

In a speech scheduled to be given in Paris, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said massive bond purchases and rates held at historic lows will push inflation to within reach of the Fed's goal of 2 percent.

The central bank last week indicated an April increase of its benchmark interest rate was unlikely, with the Fed currently viewed as on track for making its first rate hike since 2008 in June or September.

The FOMC actions "led the market to interpret a September rate hike as a much higher possibility than June at this point, although the decision will remain data dependent," analysts at PNC Financial Services Group wrote in an emailed note.

Monday data had sales of previously owned homes climbing 1.2 percent to a 4.88 million annual rate in February, below 5 million for a second month. The National Association of Realtors also reported the median value of a home rose 7.5 percent from the year-ago month.

Overseas, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was expected to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the two try to broker a rescue deal, with the Athens government expected to detail economic steps to secure the flow of aid will continue to the cash-strapped nation.

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