NEW YORK – U.S. stocks rose, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell to a three-week low, as better- than-forecast data on industrial production boosted optimism on the economy and investors watched developments in Ukraine.
Yahoo! Inc. jumped 4.4 percent after Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. began the process for listing shares in the U.S. Hertz Global Holdings Inc. added 4.8 percent after a report that the company will spin off its equipment-rentals unit. Adobe Systems Inc. climbed 1.4 percent after RBC Capital Markets LLC raised the stock’s 12-month price target. VeriSign Inc. tumbled 6.8 percent as Cowen and Co. analysts downgraded the shares.
The S&P 500 rose 0.9 percent to 1,858.51 at 1:44 p.m. in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 173.29 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,238.35. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 22 percent below the 30-day average at this time of day.
“There was always fear that it could be worse,” Paul Zemsky, the head of multi-asset strategies at ING U.S. Investment Management, which oversees $200 billion, said by phone from New York. “The world looks a little less dangerous and the U.S. looks a little stronger in its economic growth.”
The equities benchmark dropped 2 percent last week, the most since January, and erased its 2014 gains amid mounting tension in Ukraine and signs of an economic slowdown in China. The gauge is now 0.5 percent higher this year.
The U.S. and European Union slapped sanctions on Russia in the worst dispute between former Cold War foes in more than two decades after a referendum paved the way for President Vladimir Putin to annex Crimea from Ukraine.
EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to freeze assets and impose visa travel bans on 21 Russians, Crimeans and former Ukrainian officials. U.S. measures were aimed at the wealth of Russia’s supporters, the White House said in a statement. While Western leaders left open the option of extending the sanctions, they kept more punitive steps in reserve.
“The market was bracing for potential volatility with the vote this weekend and now you’re seeing a lot of unwinding,” Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Cincinnati-based Schaeffer’s Investment Research Inc., said by phone. “There was a vote coming and nobody knew which way it was going to go or what would happen. There was a lot of fear.”