U.S. stocks gain on ebbing Ukraine fears; Dow rises 1.13%


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Investing.com - U.S. stocks rose on Monday even after Crimea voted overwhelmingly in favor of becoming part of Russia, as an absence of violence and less sanctions from the West fueled appetite for risk-on assets.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.13%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.96%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.81%.

Investors ended the session applauding events in Europe, after over 90% of Crimean voters on Sunday chose to break with Ukraine and join Russia. Crimea's Parliament on Monday formally asked to join the Russian Federation.

Sanctions followed as expected.

European Union foreign ministers imposed travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people they have linked to the push to have Crimea secede from Ukraine and be annexed by Russia. U.S. President Barack Obama also imposed sanctions on several Russian officials involved in the incursion of Crimea, which included freezing assets in the U.S.

Still, markets were expecting more action from the West, and the muted response coupled with an absence of widespread violence in the region sparked appetite for risk-on assets, stocks especially.

Hit-or-miss U.S. economic indicators failed to halt the rally, as investors concluded that when viewed over the long term, the data pointed to an economy that continues to improve and will bolster corporate fundamentals over the long term.

Data revealed earlier that U.S. industrial production rose 0.6% in February, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% gain. Industrial production in January was revised to a 0.2% fall from a previously estimated 0.3% decline.

In a separate report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its Empire State manufacturing index ticked up to 5.6 this month from 4.5 in February, missing expectations for a rise to 6.0.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included IBM, up 1.92%, Boeing, up 1.86%, and 3M, also up 1.86%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included McDonald's, up 0.01%, Coca-Cola, up 0.21%, and Home Depot, up 0.25%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 1.52%, France's CAC 40 rose 1.32%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 1.37%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.62%.

On Tuesday, the U.S. is to produce data on consumer inflation as well as reports on building permits and housing starts.

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This article appears in: Investing Forex and Currencies
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