Wall Street closes higher

Markets recover gains as solid earnings releases outweigh Ukraine worries.

US stocks have climbed to a higher close after a day of wild gyrations.

Markets were driven over 0.5% higher in early trade as solid earnings reports from Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola were well received by investors, before they sunk over 1% from highs on fresh fears about the crisis in Ukraine.

However, they recovered in the last two hours of trade to end near their highs for the day.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 89.26 points, or 0.55%, to 16,262.50.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 12.37 points, or 0.68%, to 1,842.98, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index lifted 11.47 points, or 0.29%, to 4,034.16.

'Momentum' stocks were again the hardest hit in the sell-off that took place in late morning trade, with the Nasdaq at one point falling about 2%.

Driving early gains was news that pharmaceutical and consumer products behemoth Johnson & Johnson reported quarterly earnings above analyst expectations, while also raising its full-year outlook.

The first quarter results of Coca-Cola, too, were met with a positive reaction despite largely being in line with forecasts.

Meanwhile, the only data release of note was the closely watched consumer price index, which showed a 0.2% lift in March. The development showed inflation pressure in the US was rising, but remained subdued.

In Europe, Ukraine looked to reclaim control of the east of the country, pushing back against pro-Russian separatists as Russia warned a civil war may be imminent.