U.S. stocks rose on Monday on hopes that China will take further accommodative monetary policy action if needed, while merger deals kept traders focused even as volumes were below average. Helping bullish sentiment was expectation central banks will continue to boost equities. Following last week's surprise rate cut, China's leadership and central bank are ready to cut interest rates again and to loosen lending restrictions. "You tend not to cut rates once, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. This could be the first in a series. The question is, how much they are going to have to do before it works," said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago.