DEBT SALES: Auctions of short-term debt by Spain, Greece and Europe's bailout fund drew strong investor demand on Tuesday, despite recent credit rating downgrades by Standard & Poor's. Many had feared the downgrades would prevent them from obtaining funds and worsen the debt crisis.
CHINA GROWTH: The Chinese government said its economy slowed less dramatically in the fourth quarter than analysts had feared. Demand from China is key to sustaining the global economy.
MIXED EARNINGS: Stocks rose on the encouraging news from abroad, despite mixed earnings reports from big U.S. banks.