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Stocks climbed on Tuesday after upbeat data on the U.S. economy, while Russian President Vladimir Putin eased market fears by saying Moscow was not looking to divide Ukraine over the Crimea crisis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day unofficially 88 points higher, the S&P 500 added 13 points and the Nasdaq put on 53 points, or 1.25 percent.

Last week, stocks fell on fears of military action in Crimea leading up to Sunday's referendum in which Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine. But stocks rose sharply on Monday as military intervention faded.

Putin told the Russian parliament on Tuesday, Russia was not looking to take control of more of Ukraine after approving a plan to make Crimea a part of Russia. The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on officials accused of taking part in Russia's military takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.

Ahead of Tuesday's opening, the Commerce Department reported housing starts fell for a third straight month, but a rebound in building permits offered hope for the housing market emerging from a soft patch.

The dollar rose against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell 2 basis points to 2.675 percent.

Oil futures for April delivery added $1.62 to $99.70 a barrel, while gold futures for April delivery fell $13.90 to $1,359.

The Federal Reserve started a two-day policy-setting session on Tuesday, with the central bank expected to continue tapering-off its asset purchases.