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The U.S. stock market was poised to open higher Tuesday, following a speech by Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, in which he downplayed fears that his country had plans to take over other regions of Ukraine beyond Crimea.
KEEPING SCORE: The three major indexes are all up by 0.3 percent as of 8:40 a.m. Eastern time. Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 53 points to 16,219. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up six points to 1,857 and Nasdaq futures are up 11 points to 3,663.
UKRAINE CRISIS: In his speech, Putin told the Russian Parliament not to believe those who say that Russia will look to take over other areas of Ukraine. On Sunday, a majority of voters in Ukraine's region of Crimea voted to break from that country and join Russia.
PRICE WATCH: The government reported that cheaper oil and gas prices kept U.S. consumer prices in check last month, despite a big rise in the cost of food. It was the latest sign of weak inflation. The Labor Department says the consumer price index increased 0.1 percent in February. In the past 12 months, prices have risen just 1.1 percent, down from 1.6 percent in January and the smallest in five months.
HOUSING: A separate report showed that U.S. home construction fell for a third month in February, but applications for building permits reached their highest level in four months. The Commerce Department said builders started work on 907,000 homes in February.
EUROPEAN MARKETS: In Europe, Germany's DAX was up 0.6 percent and France's CAC-40 was up 0.9 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent.
ASIA: Japan's Nikkei rose 0.9 percent. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index eked out a gain of 0.1 percent.