Wall St ends higher for second session
US stocks climbed for a second straight session today, as the S&P 500 came within several points of its record after comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin calmed worries that tensions over Ukraine could escalate.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 88.97 points or 0.55 percent, to end at 16,336.19. The S&P 500 gained 13.42 points or 0.72 percent, to finish at 1,872.25. The Nasdaq Composite added 53.364 points or 1.25 percent, to close at 4,333.313.
European shares changed course to climb higher in late trading, also due to an ease in tensions provoked by Putin's declarations.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed 0.7 percent higher at 1,306.11 points, recovering from an earlier session low of 1,290.28. It fell more than 5 percent in about one week from a near 5-1/2-year high earlier this month and is still down 1 percent this year after surging 16 percent in 2013.
"The market has been rightly very worried that Putin's next move was some of the other eastern provinces of Ukraine," Macquarie strategist Daniel McCormack said. "If he is watering down expectations in that regard, that's obviously positive."
Japanese shares rebounded taking heart from gains on Wall Street on relief that the threat of immediate military conflict in Ukraine receded and on fairly upbeat US data.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.9 percent to 14,411.27, recovering from a six-week closing low hit yesterday, though it is still almost 6 percent below a high around 15,300 reached on March 7.