Stock indexes are on track for a modestly higher open as Russia's Pres. Putin says he does not want to see a partition of Ukraine even as he signs a treaty to annex Crimea; S&P and Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.2%.
Major European markets also surged out of the red after Putin's comments, and most Asian markets finished higher as trade was buoyed by yesterday's strong gains on Wall Street; the Nikkei climbed 0.9% and Hang Seng added 0.5%, each gaining for the first time in five days
U.S. data on housing starts topped expectations and retail inflation figures showed a rise in line with forecasts.
The Fed next policy setting meeting starts today and concludes tomorrow.
Treasurys are little changed, with the benchmark 10-year yield at 2.69%.