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Housing data lift stocks
U.S. stock indexes rose Wednesday as two reports showed a recovery in the housing market taking hold.
The U.S. Commerce Department said 750,000 private housing construction projects were started in August, 2.3 percent more than July’s 733,000 starts on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The report follows Tuesday’s report from the National Association of Home Builders that said its confidence index in September rose for the fifth consecutive month.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday existing home sales in August rose 7.8 percent from July, with 4.82 million single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops sold in the month, using a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
It was the sixth consecutive month existing home sales were higher than the same month 12 months earlier.
In early afternoon trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average added 51.75 points, or 0.38 percent, to 13,616.39. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index added 8.01 points, or 0.25 percent, to 3,185.82. The Standard and Poor’s 500 gained 5.02 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,464.34.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 8/32 to yield 1.783 percent.
The euro rose to $1.3067 from Tuesday’s $1.3048. The U.S. dollar fell to 78.39 yen from 78.82 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 1.19 percent, 108.44 points, to 9,232.21.
In London, the FTSE 100 index gained 0.35 percent, 20.32 points, to 5,888.48.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International