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Overnight Markets: US stocks rally as Ukraine-Russia tensions ease

Overnight Markets: US stocks rally as Ukraine-Russia tensions ease

Wall Street surged on Tuesday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounding to a record high, as fears of a confrontation between Russia and Ukraine eased after Russian President Vladimir Putin said there was no need to use military force in the Crimea region for now.

The Dow Jones industrial average increased 231 points or 1.43%, to 16,399, the S&P 500 gained 28 points or 1.52%, to 1,874 and the Nasdaq Composite added 74 points or 1.73%, to 4,351.

Stocks rebounded while gold, the Japanese yen and Treasuries prices fell after Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise near the Ukrainian border back to their bases as he sought to ease tensions a day after Russian stocks, bonds and currency were hammered.

Crude oil prices, up more than 2% on Monday, reversed some of that session's gain.

Disney shares surged 2.8% after earlier hitting a record high after reaching a deal with Dish Network that allows the No. 2 satellite TV provider to carry Disney-owned networks such as ABC and ESPN, and deliver the content outside of a traditional TV subscription.

Qualcomm Inc gained 4% after the world's biggest cellphone chip maker raised its share repurchase authorisation by $5 billion to $7.8 billion and increased its cash dividend by 20%.

Shares of RadioShack Corp fell 16.2% after the struggling retailer said it would close up to 1,100 US stores after a huge drop in holiday sales.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) advanced 6.7% after Credit Suisse Group AG lifted its rating on the teen-apparel retailer. RadioShack Corp. plunged 17% after sales missed analysts’ estimates.

Health-care and financial shares also gained with American Express Co. jumping 2.9% for the biggest advance in the Dow. Pfizer Inc. gained 2.2%, the highest since 2004.

Facebook Inc. climbed 2.1%, snapping a five-day streak of declines, after the social-network site owner may buy Titan Aerospace for $60 million, according to TechCrunch.

In Asia, shares gained on Wednesday in morning session after Putin signalled the Ukraine crisis won’t immediately escalate and China’s leaders retained an economic growth target for this year.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.9% to 138 as of 9:42 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index climbed 1.1%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index rose 0.7%, extending gains from its highest-ever close. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index (AS51) advanced 0.6% after gross domestic product topped estimates. South Korea’s Kospi index added 1%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.6% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index swung between gains and losses. Taiwan’s Taiex Index rose 1% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.2%.

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