Stocks rose on Tuesday as a surge in existing home sales indicated more stabilization in housing and boosted optimism about the economic recovery.

* The CBOE volatility index <.VIX>, Wall Street's favorite measure of investor fear, fell 4.6 percent to close below 20 for the first time since August 2008.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 50.79 points, or 0.49 percent, to end unofficially at 10,464.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 3.97 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,118.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 15.01 points, or 0.67 percent, to close unofficially at 2,252.67.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)