U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, extending the prior day's jump, after upbeat data on the U.S. economy and after Vladimir Putin said Russia was not looking to divide Ukraine.
"Data points are still pointing in the same direction; the housing starts were a nice step up from January," said Chip Cobb, portfolio manager, BMT Asset Management, Bryn Mawr, Penn.
The Department of Commerce on Tuesday reported housing starts in February were down 0.2 percent from January and off 6.4 percent from the year-ago month, while a rebound in building permits offered hope for the housing market emerging from a soft patch.
Addressing the Russian parliament, Putin said Russia was not looking to take control of more of Ukraine after approving a plan to make Crimea a part of Russia after a referendum viewed as illegal by the United States and the European Union, which imposed sanctions on officials accused of taking part in Russia's military takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.
"Whether Putin is going to keep pressing hard on this thing or not, I think the market is starting to look away from that. What we don't want is to head into some type of crazy, Cold-War type of conversation," Cobb said.