Slight improvements in Europe's troubled debt markets and China's economy were enough to lift stocks on Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 151 points before fading in afternoon trading. The markets were closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.01 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 12,482.07.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,293.67.
The Nasdaq composite index added 17.41 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,728.08.
For the year to date:
The Dow is up 264.51 points, or 2.16 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 36.07 points, or 2.87 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 122.93 points, or 4.72 percent.