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Stocks Rebound as Tensions Ease in Ukraine

Posted Tuesday, March 4 – 8:24 am
“(AFP) – US stocks Tuesday bolted higher amid easing Ukraine tensions after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would send troops into Ukraine only as “a last resort.”

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 189.62 points (1.17 percent) to 16,357.65.

The broad-based S&P 500 soared 22.64 (1.23 percent) to 1,868.37 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index blasted its way to 4,343.43, up 66.13 (1.55 percent).

The strong rebound wiped out Monday’s sharp losses when Wall Street was hammered by rising global anxiety about Ukraine that squelched appetite for stocks and other riskier investments.

But while Putin reserved the right to send troops into Ukraine he said that “so far there is no such necessity” and that such a move would only be a last resort.

“We’re not sure how one says ‘phew’ in Russian, yet that is a collective exclamation at this juncture,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

“The US stock market, therefore, is free to return to its normal course of chasing new record highs, secure in the thought that yet another worst-case scenario seems to have been averted.”

Struggling consumer electronics retailer RadioShack’s announcement that it would close 1,100 stores, about 20 percent of the current slate, hit shares hard, sending the stock down 15.4 percent.

Chipmaker Qualcomm announced a 20 percent increase in its dividend and a new authorization for $5 billion in stock repurchases. Shares jumped 3.4 percent.

Solar company SunEdison shot up 12.4 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to “overweight,” reasoning that the company would be able to cash in on investments more quickly than previously thought.

Major gainers in the blue-chip Dow included General Electric, up 2.1 percent, and The Walt Disney Company, which jumped 2.9 percent.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.65 percent from 2.61 percent on Monday, while the 30-year increased to 3.60 percent from 3.56 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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