In a relatively quiet day with little new developments from China or Europe, investors have shifted into riskier assets.
The U.S. stock market rallied on Tuesday as financials and commodities shares booked solid gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 131.66 points, or 1.30 percent, to trade at 10,230.80 at 3:05 p.m. in New York. The S&P 500 is up 15.35 points, or 1.43 percent, to trade at 1,090.86.
Crude oil prices gained 3.98 percent today while the U.S. dollar fell against the euro and the Australian dollar.
Financial and commodities firms are lifting the Dow. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) leads with a gain of 4.98 percent. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is up 2.16 percent and American Express (NYSE:AXP) is up 2.19 percent.
Aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is up 3.09 percent and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) is up 2.61 percent, buoyed by the rising oil price and its analyst upgrade.
At the Eurogroup meeting today, finance ministers continued to pledge their vigilance in monitoring Greece's budget cutting efforts.
China continued its contractionary monetary policy last week when it announced another bank reserve requirement hike. However, because of Chinese New Year, the Chinese stock market is closed and no big announcements are expected from the country this week.
Barclays' (NYSE:BCS) earnings and better than expected U.S. manufacturing data helped lift the market.
Barclays reported 2009 net profit today that is more than twice the 2008 figure, beating analysts' expectations. The American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of Barclays are trading up 13.67 percent. Its earnings results lifted financial shares in general, particularly European firms.
Conditions for manufacturers in New York State improved more than expected in February. The Empire State Manufacturing index rose 9 points to 24.9 compared to the median forecast of 18, according to Bloomberg.
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