US stocks rise

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stocks moved higher in early trade Tuesday as markets shrugged off Russia's move to formally absorb Crimea and began turning attention to a US Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.23 points (0.41 percent) to 16,314.45.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 7.55 (0.41 percent) to 1,866.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 22.48 (0.53

percent) to 4,302.43.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea part of Russia, moving quickly after Sunday's referendum in Crimea overwhelmingly endorsed integration into Russia.

The move heightens tensions between Ukraine and the West. But Putin also said Russia had no designs on a larger break-up of Ukraine.

Markets treated the latest Ukraine developments as consistent with expectations.

“We'll see how Mr. Putin's position plays out in Washington, but Wall Street for one looks eager to take the Russian spin on Ukraine matters at face value,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare.

Meanwhile, investors also were shifting their gaze to the Fed, which will kick off a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee later Tuesday, culminating with Wednesday's policy statement and a news conference with Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Dow component Microsoft shot up 2.7 percent on a report that it will unveil a version of Microsoft Office for Apple's iPad later this month. Apple rose 0.3 percent.

Google rose 0.4 percent after announcing that it reached a settlement with Viacom on a long-standing copyright lawsuit over the use of video clips on Google's YouTube service.

Terms were not disclosed. Viacom rose 0.6 percent.

Hertz announced plans to spin off its equipment rental business and split into two publicly traded companies.

The car-rental giant expects to garner $2.5 billion from the transaction, supporting a new $1 billion share repurchase program. Shares fell 0.5 percent.

Video game retailer GameStop suffered from an announcement that Wal-Mart Stores plans a new trade-in program for video games. GameStop shares lost 4.7 percent on concerns the program will cut into sales. Wal-Mart rose 0.3 percent.

Shoe retailer DSW fell 2.9 percent as it forecast full-year earnings of $1.80-$1.95 per share, below the $2.09 expected by analysts.

Bond prices were mixed.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury slipped to 2.69 percent from 2.70 percent Monday, while the 30-year held steady at 3.63 percent.

Bond prices and yields move inversely. - Sapa-AFP



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