Dec. 11, 2012 at 9:59 AM ET
Stocks climbed at the open Tuesday following an upbeat economic report from Germany and ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher, led by Hewlett-Packard and Intel, after logging its fourth-straight rally in the previous session.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also gained at the open. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 16.
The Fed kicks off its two-day policy meeting and economists expect the central bank to announce a new round of Treasury securities purchases when the meeting ends on Wednesday. The program would replace its "Operation Twist" stimulus which expires at the end of the year.
On the economic front, the U.S. trade gap rose 4.9 percent to $42.24 billion in October, according to the Commerce Department. The September trade gap was revised lower to $40.28 billion.
European shares rose after a report that showed investor sentiment unexpectedly shot higher in Germany in December.
Facebook edged higher after Capstone Research raised its price target on the social-networking giant to $35 from $26.
Liberty interactive purchased nearly 4.8 million shares of common stock of TripAdvisor from media mogul Barry Diller and The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, giving the company voting control of the travel website firm. Shares of TripAdvisor were halted and are expected to resume trading around 9:45 am ET.
Among earnings, Dollar General topped earnings expectations, but handed in a weaker-than-expected outlook as the retailer said it remains cautious amid growing competition.
Texas Instruments slightly improved its earnings target. At least three brokerages raised their price target on the chipmaker.
The Treasury is scheduled to auction $32 billion in 3-year notes with the results of the auction available shortly after 1pm ET.
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