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Gain in home prices lifts stocks; S&P near high

NEW YORK – The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed within a point of its all-time high after another strong report on housing encouraged investors to buy stocks.

The S&P 500 gained 12 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,563 Tuesday. It's a point away from the record high reached in October 2007.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 111 points, or 0.8 percent, to close at 14,559. It was the biggest gain in three weeks.

The Nasdaq composite rose 17 points, 0.5 percent, to 3,252.

Housing prices rose in January at the fastest pace since summer 2006, before the housing bubble burst. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index climbed 8.1 percent.

Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was lighter than usual, 2.8 billion shares.

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