Stocks rise after better housing, jobless reports
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks advanced, pushing the Standard and Poor's 500 to another five-year high, after strong reports on housing starts and unemployment claims made investors more optimistic about the U.S. economy.
The S&P 500 gained eight points to 1,480 as of noon EST Thursday, its highest level since December 2007. The Dow Jones industrial average also rose, gaining 75 points to 13,586. The Nasdaq composite rose 18 points to 3,135.
U.S. builders started work on homes in December at the fastest pace since the summer of 2008, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Homebuilder stocks rose broadly following the report. Lennar rose 98 cents to $41.50, KB Home gained 32 cents to $16.47 and D.R. Horton rose 42 cents to $21.42.
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