Stocks rose on Monday led by the healthcare sector after the House of Representatives passed a healthcare reform bill, providing clarity following months of uncertainty.
While analysts have cited concerns that the reform bill will pinch corporate profits in the sector, they said the sector was benefiting from a relief rally. They said much of the expected impact was already priced in.
"There's been a considerable amount of uncertainty in the healthcare arena surrounding the outcome of the legislation. The fact that we now have legislation removes that uncertainty and it makes sense to get a bid under healthcare" stocks, said Kevin Caron, portfolio manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The Morgan Stanley Healthcare Payor Index (.HMO) gained 2.3 percent, putting it on track for a sixth straight session of gains. Insurer WellCare Health Plans Inc (WCG.N) rose 3.3 percent to $31.73.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) added 23.81 points, or 0.22 percent, to 10,765.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) rose 1.49 points, or 0.13 percent, to 1,161.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) climbed 5.45 points, or 0.23 percent, to 2,379.86.
Energy shares fell alongside the price of oil futures, which dropped 1.5 percent to $79.48 a barrel as the dollar gained against the euro on concerns over Greece. Chevron (CVX.N) shed 1.1 percent to $74.14.
Conflicting signals from European leaders over aid to Greece made investors cautious and kept gains in check.