U.S. stocks opened higher Tuesday, pushing the S&P 500 to uncharted territories and the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 15,000 again. The rally came on the heels of a surge of the Japanese stock market, which closed at the highest level in nearly five years. The S&P 500 on Monday set another all-time closing high and is now solidly above the 1,600 milestone level. The major U.S. stock indices gained momentum from the rally of the 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average on Tuesday, which jumped 3.55 percent to close at its highest level since June 18, 2008. Separately, the Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday cut its benchmark interest rate to 2.75 percent from 3 percent, giving another boost to the stock market. Easing measures by major central banks worldwide are the main driver of global equity markets. In corporate news, HSBC Holdings PLC on Tuesday reported a first-quarter performance that topped market expectations. HSBC shares rose 2.17 percent to trade at 57.01 U.S. dollars a share in morning trading. Bank of America shares gained 1.71 percent to trade at 13.10 dollars a share, the biggest leader among the Dow components, on news that the bank on Monday reached a 1.7-billion-dollar agreement with Municipal Bond Insurance Association to settle a dispute over mortgage-backed securities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 37.63 points, or 0.25 percent, to 15,006.52 points. The S&P 500 added 4.44 points, or 0.27 percent, to 1,621.94 points. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5.25 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,398.22 points.