Stocks opened higher on Tuesday on signs of progress in dealing with Europe's long-running sovereign debt crisis.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 65.09 points, or 0.51 percent, to 12,718.81. The S&P 500 Index <.INX> added 7.98 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,320.99. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> gained 17.19 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,829.13.

The S&P 500 triggered a bullish technical signal as its 50-day average ticked above its 200-day average. The occurrence, known as a golden cross, indicates a shift in mid-term momentum and has historically indicated gains in the index six months down the road.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)