Stocks added to gains on Tuesday after a bigger-than-expected jump in November existing home sales reassured investors the housing market was stabilizing.
Sales of previously owned homes rose 7.4 percent in the month, compared with expectations of a rise of 2.9 percent.
Further improvement in the housing market is likely to lend support to the equity market as we finish the year, said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Investments in Richmond, Virginia.
The housing market has been a key concern for equity investors all this year, so further progress is an encouraging sign as we get ready to start 2010.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 58.50 points, or 0.56 percent, to 10,472.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 5.72 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,119.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 13.42 points, or 0.60 percent, to 2,251.07.
Following the release of the data, the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction index <.DJUSHB> was up 2.2 percent, while D.R. Horton Inc
Earlier, the Commerce Department's final estimate showed gross domestic product grew at a 2.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, below the forecast of 2.8 percent.
Ford Motor Co
Shares of Jabil Circuit
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)