9:00am (EST)

The Dow added its first triple-digit gain of the year on Monday, rising 109 points, or 0.9%, and closed at 11,980 after a slow start.  The index traded to a high of 11,982 and looks poised to test our 12,000 target we set back in October.  The last time the index was over 12,000 was back in June 2008 and before the Financial meltdown which took the Dow below 7,500 by 2009.  It’s been a nice ride back.

The S&P 500 gained nearly 8 points, or 0.6%, and settled at 1,290.  We were looking for a close above 1,290 yesterday and we got it which keeps the index on track for a shot at 1,300 this week.

The Nasdaq surged 28 points, or 1%, and finished at 2,717.  Tech has been weak as of late so it was nice to see the recovery back over the 2,700 level.  Intel (INTC, $21.24, up $0.42) was a big factor in getting the index back on track as shares popped 2% after the company raised its dividend and authorized an additional $10 billion in share buybacks.

Turning to earnings, American Express (AXP, $45.79, down $0.21) announced results after the close yesterday and their numbers missed by a penny.  The company said profits rose nearly 50%, coming in at $1.05 billion, or $0.88 a share, compared with $707 million, or $0.60 a share, in the year ago quarter.

Revenue checked in at $7.32 billion, up from $6.5 billion in the prior year.  American Express warned last week that it would take $113 million in charges after downsizing and would have earned $0.94 a share.  Wall Street was looking for $0.95 a share, on $7.28 billion in revenue.

In pre-market action, shares of American Express are trading at $45, down $0.79.

Futures are pointing towards a lower start after news of Europe’s GDP contracting 0.5% and word that some of Spain’s banks need to raise capital or face government takeover.  As we head to press, Dow futures are lower by 35 points to 11,895 while the S&P 500 futures are down 6 points to 1,283.  The Nasdaq 100 futures are off by 13 points to 2,286.