S&P 500 Rebounds To Record As Ukraine-Russia Tensions Ease

 
on March 04 2014 10:29 PM
S&P Rebounds As Ukraine Russia Ease
Goldman Sachs Sr. floor trader Jay Woods (R) works at the post that trades RadioShack, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange March 4, 2014. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

U.S. stocks rose Tuesday, with the S&P 500 Index rebounding to a record after its biggest loss in a month, as concerns about a Russia-Ukraine confrontation eased. And the market recovered more than all of the previous session's hefty losses.

It was a day in which comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled that the crisis in Ukraine would not immediately escalate.

The S&P 500 rose 1.5 percent -- its biggest gain this year -- hitting an all-time high of 1,873.91 at 4 p.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg News. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 227.85 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,395.88.

The Nasdaq Composite Index rose to the highest since April 2000 and the Russell 2000 Index climbed the most in a year. About 7.7 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges -- 17 percent higher than the 30-day average.

“On a very short-term basis, everything you’ve seen in the market has everything to do with the Ukraine,” Kevin Caron, a strategist at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. told Bloomberg. “But over last two weeks, the market has moved higher with the exception of yesterday. The bet has been made that the economy continues to expand and most of the disruption we’ve seen has been from the weather.”

President Vladimir Putin boldly backed up Russia's actions in Crimea Tuesday, explaining that he would use force in Ukraine only as a last resort. Putin's comments eased investors' fears that East-West tension over the former Soviet republic could lead to war, Reuters reported.

Tuesday's gains came after Wall Street's worst day in a month, when stocks and other risky assets were sold as Ukraine-Russia tensions were on the rise. Global stocks rebounded on Tuesday as the Japanese yen, Treasuries prices and gold all fell.

"Monday's selling and Tuesday's stark reversal have become commonplace in traders' calendars in 2014," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Interactive Brokers LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut.

"Investors have clearly got an appetite for equities displaying strong momentum, no matter whether geopolitical risks or fears for the health of the recovery stand in their path."

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, Wall Street's fear barometer, slid 11.9 percent to end at 14.10 on Tuesday -- a reversal from Monday, when the VIX rose 14 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI climbed 227.85 points or 1.41 percent, to end at 16,395.88. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 28.18 points or 1.53 percent, to finish at 1,873.91. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC climbed 74.671 points or 1.75 percent, to close at 4,351.972.

The S&P 500 ended at a record high for the second time since Friday, when the broad index finished February with a milestone. In Tuesday's session, industrials and financials ranked among the largest gainers. The benchmark index is up 1.4 percent for the year, according to Reuters.

"The longer-term trend of the U.S. equity indexes remains positive," but short-term indicators "remain overbought and are peaking as most indexes rally back to resistance at their 2014 highs," Robert Sluymer, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, LLC in New York, said.

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