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Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks close sharply higher, S&P 500 exits correction territory on optimism about Ukraine talks

U.S. stocks opened higher Tuesday, buoyed by optimism over negotiations on a cease fire in Ukraine while Russia was reported saying it would cut back operations near Ukraine’s capital.

What’s happening

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.67%

rose 338 points, or 1%, to 35,294.

The S&P 500
SPX,
+0.69%

jumped 40 points, or 0.9%, to 4,616.

The Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+1.06%

was up 185 points, or 1.3%, at 14,540.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.67%

rose 95 points, or 0.27%, to 34956, the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.69%

increased 32 points, or 0.71%, to 4576, and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+1.06%

gained 186 points, or 1.31%, to 14355. The S&P 500 has gained ground for eight of the last 10 trading days.

What’s driving markets

The first face-to-face talks between Russia and Ukraine in two weeks were held in Turkey on Tuesday. The Russian news agency Interfax quoted Russia’s lead negotiator as saying progress was made during the talks.

Russia’s military also said Tuesday it would “fundamentally” cut back operations near Ukraine’s capital and a northern city, potentially a significant concession by Moscow since it invaded its neighbor more than a month ago.

“A sense of positivity returned to financial markets as the prospects of more ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine soothed investor jitters,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM.

See also: War in Ukraine: New round of talks in Istanbul aims to stop the fighting

The dollar
USDRUB,
-7.76%

plunged against the ruble, and oil prices
CL.1,
-2.94%

dropped, as reports began to emerge after the day’s meetings in Istanbul, Turkey.

The U.S. also threatened further sanctions against Russia, in a speech from Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo delivered in London.

The other major development for the world economy is in China, as a two-phased lockdown of the financial capital Shanghai entered the second day raising the prospect of more supply chain disruptions hitting the world economy.

In U.S. economic data, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city house price index posted a 19.1% year-over-year gain in January, up slightly from 18.6% the previous month.

Companies in focus

FedEx Corp.
FDX,
+4.29%

founder Fred Smith late Monday announced plans to step down from the chief executive role, and will be replaced by the logistics company’s president and chief operating officer. Shares rose 3.9%.

UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s
UNH,
-0.24%

Optum Health confirmed it would buy post-acute health care services company LHC Group
LHCG,
+5.58%

in a deal that values LHC Group at more than $5.5 billion. LHC Group shares were up 7%, while shares of UnitedHealth edged higher by 0.5%.

Shares of Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc.
PLAY,
+8.21%

rose 5.8% after the games-themed restaurant chain’s quarterly results released late Monday fell below Wall Street expectations.

Nielsen Holdings PLC
NLSN,
+20.46%

shares jumped 22%, after the audience measurement company confirmed a deal to be acquired by a private equity consortium in a cash deal valued at about $16 billion, including debt.

NeoGenomics Inc.
NEO,
-35.19%

Chief Executive Mark Mallon stepped down Monday as the health-testing company revealed that first-quarter financials will miss guidance and rescinded its forecast for the full year. Shares fell 32%.

What other assets are doing

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
2.447%

fell 3 basis points to 2.444%. Yields and debt prices move opposite each other.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
-0.78%
,
a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, dropped 0.8%.

Bitcoin
BTCUSD,
-0.28%

rose 1.4% to trade near $47,900.

The Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
+1.52%

rose 1.9%, while London’s FTSE 100
UKX,
+0.69%

gained 1.2%.

The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
-0.33%

fell 0.3%, while the Hang Seng Index
HSI,
+1.12%

in Hong Kong and Japan’s Nikkei 225
NIK,
+1.10%

each rose 1.1%.

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