Some highlights from the day's business news:
Dow marches toward 12,000
Stocks got the week off to a solid start Monday, with the Dow slowly clawing its way toward the 12,000 mark.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 11,980, up 109 points, or 0.9% from the prior trading session.
The blue-chip index has been on an upward trend since Thanksgiving, and is now within a stone's throw of 12,000 - a level last seen on June 18, 2008.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 gained 7 points, or 0.6%; and the Nasdaq rose 28 points, or 1%.
While analysts say a slight pullback could be in the cards soon, companies are reporting strong earnings, which should drive continued positive momentum over the long term.
Cocoa surges 4% as Ivory Coast bans exports
Cocoa prices surged more than 4% Monday, after the Ivory Coast called for a one-month export ban, potentially cutting off both chocolate-loving consumers and price-sensitive food companies from the world's largest cocoa supplier.
The tiny African country has been in the midst of political turmoil for more than a month, since incumbent President Laurant Gbagbo refused to relinquish his position after losing the general election to challenger Alassane Ouattara.
The Ivory Coast is by far world's largest supplier of cocoa beans - providing between 30% and 40% of the world's supply. With all the unrest, prices will likely keep rising.
- CNNMoney.com reporter Annalyn Censky and contributing writer Ken Sweet contributed to this report.