MORE SMALL STOCK GAINS: The Russell 2000, an index of small company stocks, climbed for a fourth straight day. That's a sign that investors are getting more confident on the outlook for the U.S. economy and are buying riskier stocks.

MORE SMALL STOCK GAINS: The Russell 2000, an index of small company stocks, climbed for a fourth straight day. That's a sign that investors are getting more confident on the outlook for the U.S. economy and are buying riskier stocks.

EARNINGS AWAIT: Alcoa was the first major company to report second-quarter earnings. The aluminum producer beat Wall Street's expectations but investors weren't blown away and the stock ended the day down fractionally. Companies including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Family Dollar Stores will report earnings later in the week.

HOT TRANSPORT: The Dow Jones transportation average, which is considered by some investors as a leading indicator for the broader Dow Jones industrial average, rose 2.3 percent. Gains were led by Alaska Air Group, which rose 7 percent after it forecast an additional $50 million a year in revenue from increased fees.