Techs Lead the Way Higher

Stocks returned to rally mode Monday after a Federal Reserve official said lower oil prices will help keep the U.S. economy strong.

The Nasdaq led the way higher with a 1.4% gain after Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher also said he doesn’t expect the housing market decline to hurt the broader economy.

Fisher’s comments ignited a market that had earlier traded lower on news of the first decline in home prices in 11 years, which exacerbated slowdown fears sparked by an unexpectedly weak manufacturing report last week. The S&P ended the day at a fresh 5 1/2-year high.

HP managed a 1.7% gain on news that CEO Mark Hurd has so far been able to survive a leak investigation scandal, although corporate governance experts were left scratching their heads over Hurd’s assumption of greater responsibility despite his own missteps in the leak scandal.

Broadcom and Lam Research led the way higher, gaining 9% each on upgrades.

Microsemi lost 14% on a warning.

Adept lost 7.7% on accounting concerns.

Time Warner gained 2.3% on a Morgan Stanley upgrade based on changes at AOL.

The Nasdaq surged 30 to 2249, the S&P 500 gained 11 to 1326, and the Dow rose 67 to 11,575, held back by a big decline in shares of Altria . Volume rose to 2.75 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 22-10 on the NYSE, and 18-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 70% on the NYSE, and 82% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 149-83 on the NYSE, and 98-93 on the Nasdaq.

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