Lower oil prices and technology news helped stocks rally Monday despite a legal dispute that raised questions about Johnson & Johnson's...

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NEW YORK — Lower oil prices and technology news helped stocks rally Monday despite a legal dispute that raised questions about Johnson & Johnson’s $25 billion acquisition of Guidant.

At the close of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average had gained 55.47 to 10,586.23, its highest close since Sept. 16.

Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, advanced 35 cents to close at $27.01. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained 41 cents to $65.69.

Broader stock indicators were also higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 2.67 at 1,222.81, and the Nasdaq composite index advanced 8.81 to 2,178.24.

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Investors had little information to guide them through the session, with few third-quarter earnings reports remaining and no major economic data scheduled this week. News that Microsoft is in talks to buy a stake in American Online and a deal involving TiVo and Yahoo drove gains in the tech sector.

The market found comfort in the declining price of crude oil, which sank more than $1 a barrel as unusually warm weather quelled fears of a winter heating-oil shortage, although the International Energy Agency reiterated concerns about capacity. A barrel of light crude lost $1.11 to settle at $59.47.

Monday’s quiet trading session follows two straight weeks of sturdy gains as investors sifted through quarterly profit reports and mostly positive economic numbers for indications of the market’s direction.

Guidant said it filed a lawsuit seeking to force Johnson & Johnson to complete a $25.4 billion takeover of Guidant, which has been hurt by recent recalls of some of its implanted medical devices. Last week, Johnson & Johnson warned that talks had stalled and might not continue. Guidant sank $1.40 to $57.52, and Johnson & Johnson climbed 55 cents to $61.43.

Yahoo struck a deal to provide its Web content and services through TiVo’s television-recording devices, further erasing barriers between media platforms. Yahoo added 3 cents to $37.90; TiVo jumped 18 cents to $5.30.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, search engine Google said it is modifying some of its services for use on wireless devices. Yahoo and SBC Communications are also planning a cellphone that will link Web and wireless offerings. Google gained $4.60 to $395.03, while SBC slipped 25 cents to $23.41.