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Stocks opened higher Tuesday, with the S&P 500 extending its recent rally to a fresh high and the Dow trading near 15,000, lifted by gains in Europe and Japan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed above 15,000 to hit an all-time intraday high of 15,013.43. Caterpillar and JPMorgan led the blue-chip gainers.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also rallied. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded below 13.

So far this year, the Dow has surged an impressive 14 percent, while the S&P and Nasdaq have soared more than 13 percent each.

All key S&P sectors opened in positive territory, led by energy and industrials.

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