NEW YORK - Russia and Ukraine appear to be moving closer to a ceasefire. Investors are applauding the news the best way they know how: a global stock market rally.
U.S. stocks climbed to all-time highs Wednesday morning, and investors in Europe and Russia cheered even louder. The S&P 500 hit a record level above 2,009, and the Dow isn't far off from its highest peak.
"There is now a glimmer of hope that at last the presidents of Russia and Ukraine will endorse a political and not disastrous military solution to the crisis," said Lilit Gevorgyan, an analyst covering Russia and Europe at IHS Global Insight.
Too soon to party? However, the rallies in global markets were limited a bit by confusion over what exactly the two countries agreed to.
After Ukraine initially said a ceasefire had been reached, Russia denied it. Kiev later rephrased its statement, saying a ceasefire "regime" -- or framework -- had been reached.
"The danger is that the rally is quickly reversed as it starts to emerge that, in fact, we are still some way off from the end to the conflict," said Liza Ermolenko, an emerging market economist at Capital Economics.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq, for example, is flat and U.S. stocks have pulled back somewhat from earlier gains.
Still, investors applauded the progress. Russia's stock market surged 3.3%. This comes mere hours after Russia's ruble hit its lowest point ever in trading against the U.S. dollar.
Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, that track Russian assets popped as well. The Market Vectors Russia ETF and iShares MSCI Russia Capped ETF bounced more than 5% each.
The ceasefire would also have a big impact on Europe, especially Germany which does a lot of trade with Russia and Ukraine. The sanctions and fighting have taken a toll on the European economy, so much so that Europe stalled to nearly zero growth in the second quarter.
On Wednesday, Germany's DAX climbed almost 1.3%.
Shares of Carlsberg and Adidas were also on the rise -- the Danish brewer and German sportswear company have been especially hard hit by the tensions.
The global stock rally extends to America: In the U.S., the S&P 500 advanced 0.3% and set a new intraday record of 2,009.35. If it closes above 2,003, the index would notch its 33rd record close this year alone.
The Dow jumped about to 17,151.8 before falling back. The benchmark needs to end above 17,138 for its 16th record close of 2014.
The ceasefire talks also boosted shares of American companies that have been struggling in Russia, including McDonald's and Ford.