Stocks kicked off the week trading higher on Monday as shareholders built on a strong rally seen in the previous session, while energy shares rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 154 points, with Caterpillar and Exxon Mobil as the best-performing stocks. The S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent as energy climbed 1.8 percent. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.9 percent.
On Friday, the major averages jumped more than 1 percent as shares of Apple hit an all-time high on news that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought 75 million shares of the company in the first quarter. Apple gained 1 percent on Monday.
Wall Street also got a boost from rising oil prices, as crude highs not seen since late 2014. Before the U.S. open, U.S. crude rose above $70 per barrel, while Brent hit $75.89 — a level not seen since November 2014 —before paring back some of its gains.
“The oil market has turned a corner. Demand is rising and supply is getting tighter,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. “Just based on fundamentals, we’re looking at $72-to-$75 per barrel.”
Oil prices rose on the back of concerns surrounding Venezuela’s economic situation and the future of the Iran nuclear deal.
Crude’s rise lifted energy stocks, as the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) climbed 2 percent. Shares of Schlumberger and Valero energy also climbed more than 1.5 percent each.
Rising oil prices “is a net positive” for stocks, said Jeff Kilburg, CEO of KKM Financial, on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.” “I know the stock market has been going sideways for quite some time, but this move higher has been part of the healing process for the energy sector.”
In corporate news, Nestle agreed to pay $7.15 billion to Starbucks to for the rights to sell the coffee chain’s products globally. Starbucks shares briefly rose before trading slightly lower.
Meanwhile, Blackstone reached a deal with Gramercy Property Trust to buy it for $7.6 billion in cash. Gramercy’s stock shot up more than 15 percent.