In Asia, share markets were mixed on Tuesday in morning session, with the Nikkei up 2% and Shanghai down 0.2%, after United States equities squeezed out gains overnight.

The S&P; 500 Index (SPX - 2,049.80) dropped 1.8 points, or 0.1%.

Six out of the 10 S&P; 500 sectors closed up slightly on Monday, led telecom and healthcare stocks. Energy and materials shares were both off 0.5%, despite crude futures settling higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21.57 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,623.87. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite gained 13 points, or 0.3%, to 4,808.

Financial markets will be closed for Good Friday in a four-day trading week. "2016 is likely to be a throwaway year, just like 2015 was", she said. The April contract settled 1.2% higher at $39.91 a barrel, while May oil, the front-month contract, closed up 0.9% at $41.52 a barrel.

"As ever the oil price is still the major element in any stock market movements - last week dips were furiously bought so we may see this play out once more", said Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG.

Saying goodbye to Nancy Reagan
In this January 17, 2003 file photo Rosalynn Carter , Barbara Bush, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton are pictured. Heavy rain had been forecast for the ceremony, and guests were ushered into a cavernous waterproof tent behind the library.

"Investors have really come to terms with the fact that recession risks are receding in the U.S., and that certainly was helped by the Fed action last week", said Mike Baele, senior portfolio manager at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

In corporate news, Starwood Hotels & Resorts gained after agreeing to a revised offer from Marriott International at $79.53 per share or $13.6bn, which exceeds the $13.2bn offered by a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals shares rose 7.4% after the company announced that its CEO Michael Pearson will be replaced and that it will add hedge-fund investor Bill Ackman to its Board.

Technology giant Apple was higher ahead of unveiling a 4-inch iPhone and a new iPad at its Cupertino headquarters.

The U.S. dollar index traded mildly higher, with the euro at $1.126 and the yen at 111.69 yen against the greenback as of 11:14 a.m.

Global markets tanked, while crude prices and traditional safe havens gold and government bonds firmed up as reports of the events in the de facto capital of the European Union unfolded.