Good corporate earnings, falling Spanish interest rates and an upward revision in the International Monetary Fund's outlook for the U.S. economy on Tuesday offset a weak housing report to lift equities and industrial commodities.
Meanwhile, India's central bank cut a key interest rate and Japan offered as much as $60 billion to help the IMF support the euro zone, despite its 200 percent debt-to-GDP ratio. ZEW said German economic sentiment was up this month.
Apple Inc. shares were up more than 5 percent to $609.70 as technology shares led all 10 groups in the S&P 500. All 30 of the Dow's components posted gains.
Stocks. Major Asian stock indexes fell modestly. European shares soared: Britain's FTSE 100 jumped 1.78 percent, Germany's DAX soared 2.65 percent and France's CAC 40 shot up 2.72 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 soared 2.4 percent in its largest one-session jump since November. The three main U.S. indexes rose 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent.
Bonds. Treasurys fell with the yield on the 10-year note at 2.01 percent. Spain's debt sale was oversubscribed, which may have been thanks to the European Central Bank.
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Currencies. The euro gained at the expense of the dollar as investors opted for risk-on opportunities. The Japanese yen and Brazilian real fell. Mexico's peso and Canada's loonie rose.
Commodities. Crude oil climbed 1.3 percent in New York trading to $104.28 per barrel. Gold and copper were up fractionally. Agricultural commodities were mixed: Coffee, corn, wheat and lumber were down; lean hogs, live cattle, sugar and edible oils like soybeans were up.