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Stocks surge as tensions ease in Ukraine

Relieved investors sent stocks sharply higher Tuesday after Russia pulled troops back from the border of Ukraine. The rally erased steep losses from Monday caused by fears an escalating conflict.

The S&P 500 index was up 27 points, or 1.4 percent, at 1,872 as of 12:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 222 points, or 1.4 percent, to 16,390. The Nasdaq composite rose 77 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,354. Six stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

The volatility comes after the S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday, then posted its biggest decline in a month on Monday. That has left investors trying to figure out whether stocks are overvalued or whether they reflect an improving economy.

“I think maybe you take a powder. Maybe take some positions off the table, and you hedge yourself a little but, for the chance that if it does go the other way and there is a downturn,” said Stephen J. Carl, head equity trader at The Williams Capital Group.

Bond and gold prices fell as traders moved money out of safe-play assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.67 percent from 2.60 percent late Monday.

Oil prices also fell as the immediate threat of economic sanctions on Russia, a major oil exporter, eased. Traders had also been worried about transportation disruptions in the Black Sea, a major transit point for oil.

All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, led by health care, financial and phone company stocks.

Stock markets in Europe, including Moscow, and Asia recouped much of Monday’s losses. Indexes in France and Germany each rose 2.5 percent, and the FTSE 100 in Britain rose 1.7 percent.

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