A look at the day's business news headlines:
Strong gains for stocks
Stocks climbed to 6-month highs Monday after a report on housing sales came in much better than expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average added 31 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 11,164, its highest level since April. The S&P 500 increased 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,185 and the Nasdaq (COMP) was up 11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,491.
All three indexes had been up nearly 1 percent earlier in the morning, after the release of a strong report on existing home sales. Gains receded slightly as the day continued, but most sectors were still strong - 23 of the 30 blue-chip Dow components were higher at the closing bell.
It marked the second time in the past week that the Dow has eclipsed its highest closing level this year, only to quickly pull back. It rose as high as 11,247.60 earlier Monday; the year's highest close was 11,205.03 on April 26. The intraday peak for the year was 11,258, also on April 26.
Existing home sales on the rise
Existing home sales climbed for the second month in a row in September, fueling some hope that a housing recovery is underway.
Sales of previously owned homes rose 10% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million units last month, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday. That was up from a 4.12 million rate in August.
The report came in much stronger than expectations. Economists had forecast sales to edge up to an annual rate of 4.25 million units, according to consensus estimates from Briefing. com.
Ford to bring jobs to Michigan
Ford Motor company said it will create up to 1,200 jobs in the distressed state of Michigan as it ramps up its engineering and manufacturing operations to produce more fuel-efficient cars.
Lured by state tax incentives, the automotive company announced Monday it plans to invest $850 million in new fuel-saving technologies between 2011 and 2013.
Ford's stock closed 1.4% higher.
The funds would generate hundreds of new full-time positions in manufacturing and engineering operations in Michigan by 2013, according to a statement released by the company.
– CNNMoney.com staff reporters Julianne Pepitone, Annalyn Censky and Jessica Dickler contributed to this report.