Stocks Climb on Central Bank Hopes; S&P Crosses 1400 Mark

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The markets climbed on Tuesday, with the broad S&P 500 rising above the 1400 threshold for the first time in three months, as traders responded favorably to hints that central banks may act to boost the global economy.

Today's Markets

As of 3:13 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 64.3 points, or 0.49%, to 13182, the S&P 500 gained 8.1 points, or 0.58%, to 1402 and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 28.3 points, or 0.94%, to 3018.

The S&P 500 has tacked on more than 2% in the past three trading days, pushing the broad-market index higher by greater than 10% for the year. With the economic calendar light, traders have been paying close attention to the eurozone debt crisis.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ardo Hansson told the Wall Street Journal that the central bank could make "substantial" purchases of sovereign debt of embattled countries. Hansson told the paper that the buying would be in conjunction with the eurozone's rescue funds, and would hinge on certain conditions that still push countries to reform. Potentially, a large-scale program to purchase government bonds could help keep borrowing costs in check.

The yield on Spain's 10-year bonds, which has been particularly closely watched, remained at 6.78% -- elevated, but below the 7% level that has prompted bailouts in the past. The cost of insuring the country's debt against a default, however, rose slightly on the day, according to financial data firm Markit.

Separately Boston Central Bank President Eric Rosengren told the Journal that the central bank needs to take much more aggressive action to boost the U.S. economy, including purchases of mortgage-backed securities and potentially Treasury securities.

"We need a pro-growth monetary policy," Rosengren, who does not currently command a vote on the Federal Open Market Committee, told the paper.

In corporate news, shares of Standard Chartered plunged more than 20% in London trading after a New York regulator accused the U.K. bank of scheming with Iran on billions of dollars of transactions and threatened to revoke its banking license.

Energy prices rallied after a fire at a Chevron (NYSE:CVX) refinery in California threatened to cut supplies on the West Coast. The benchmark contract traded in New York jumped $1.47, or 1.6%, to $93.67 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline zoomed higher by 2.4% to $2.991 a gallon.

In metals, gold fell $3.40, or 0.21%, to $1,613 a troy ounce.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rallied 1.7% to 2440, the English FTSE 100 jumped 0.56% to 5841 and the German DAX ticked up by 0.71% to 6968.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 jumped 0.88% to 8803 and the Chinese Hang Seng rose 0.37% to 20073.