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Wall Street: U.S. equity markets closed much higher on Tuesday after better than expected consumer confidence numbers, which hit the highest level in eight months, brought equity bulls back to the table. Apple rose after receiving an upgrade from Morgan Stanley to overweight. General Motors gained after news that bondholders are likely to reject the company’s proposal for a debt equity swap. Overall, bank stocks led the market higher. The DOW gained 196.17 to close on 8473.49. The NASDAQ gained 58.42 to close on 1750.43 while the S&P gained 23.33 points to close on 910.33  

Europe:  European equity markets closed higher as traders became bullish after the release of the U.S. consumer confidence numbers. Bank stocks rose, reversing earlier losses, led by BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank. Energy companies gained after oil prices pared losses and closed higher on the day, just below the $62.50 a barrel level. The DAX closed higher by 67 points, the CAC 40 added 34 points while the U.K.’s FTSE gained 46 points.

Asia: Asian equity markets closed Tuesday’s trade lower as tensions increased over North Korea test firing missiles and threatening more launches. Japanese tech companies such as TDK Corp moved lower, while drug makers edged higher. Toyota Motor received a bank upgrade and closed the session higher. South Korean stocks closed lower while Australian stocks closed higher helped by mining stocks such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The Nikkei lost 36 points while the Hang Seng shed 130 points. 

Financial Sector: In trade on Tuesday the XLF, the financial sector ETF, gained 0.39 points (3.34%) to trade at 12.04. It moved higher on slightly lighter volume; 134.22m ETF's changed hands, below the ten day average of 181.6m. Equity markets closed much higher on Tuesday, on better than expected consumer confidence numbers.
 
Treasuries:  Two year Treasury notes were unmoved after a record tying $40 billion sale of the securities drew the most demand since November 2006. Other maturities declined after the better than expected consumer confidence report this morning. The yield on the Ten year note rose five basis points to 3.50%.
 
Crude oil: Oil prices closed above $62 a barrel on Tuesday and hit a 6 month high on the back of better than expected U.S. consumer confidence numbers and comments from Saudi Arabia that prices may continue to rise. The comments came ahead of Thursday’s OPEC meeting at which ministers are expected to leave output levels unchanged.

Gold Bullion: Gold prices moved lower on Tuesday as the dollar traded higher against most major currencies through at least the morning U.S. session. Bullion dropped $5 an ounce to close at $953.90. Traders often move into and out of gold depending on the movement of the dollar.