Stocks gained ground after three weeks of losses after crude oil prices fell and the dollar strengthened.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42.78, or 0.4 percent, to close at 10,485.65. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 2.86, or 0.2 percent, to 1,174.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.46, or 0.1 percent, to 1,992.52.


Investors cheered as the dollar hit six-week highs against the euro, Swiss franc and British pound, and rose against the yen. Crude oil futures continued a slow retreat, with a barrel of light crude for May delivery settling at $54.05, down 79 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


Among local companies, shares of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. gained 1.4 percent to close at $4.24 after the L.A.-based entertainment company announced plans to launch "TV Guide Spot," an on-demand network that will feature original programming. The service will launch to cable, TVGuide.com and TiVo customers in the second quarter.


Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. rose 1.2 percent to $24.65 after the El Segundo-based sports retail chain's stock was rated "buy" in new coverage by analyst Jason West at Deutsche Bank.


And Countrywide Financial Corp. moved up 0.3 percent to $31.96 after the Calabasas-based financial services provider said that Chief Financial Officer Thomas K. McLaughlin is leaving the company and will be replaced by an insider.


McLaughlin, who the company said is leaving to focus on personal interests, will be replaced by Eric Sieracki, executive managing director, effective April 1. Countrywide said that upon Sieracki's promotion, the chief financial officer will have oversight of all major financial management.

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