NEW YORK -- Stocks surged Tuesday after U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years and consumer confidence reached a five-year high.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed as much as 210 points during morning trading as traders returned from the Memorial Day holiday. U.S. government bond prices fell as investors moved money out of safe assets and into riskier ones. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed its highest level in more than a year.
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The recovery in the housing market has been an important factor driving the stock market to record highs this year. That rally appeared to falter last week after the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index logged their first weekly losses in four weeks.
"They say the stock market tends to lead the economy. Now we're starting to see the improvement on the economic front, so there's some justification for this rally," said Ryan Detrick, a senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's investment research.
Homebuilder stocks rose early Tuesday after the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller survey found that U.S. home prices rose 10.9 percent in March, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes. The survey was released before the stock market opened.
Stocks extended their gains after the Conference Board reported at 10 a.m. that its measure of consumer confidence rose in May to its highest level since February 2008.
The Dow was up 192 points, or 1.3 percent, to 15,494 as of 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The S&P 500 index rose 19 points, or 1.2 percent, to 1,669.
Bond prices fell and their yields rose. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.11 percent from 2.01 percent late Friday. Markets were closed Monday for Memorial Day.
Traders were also encouraged by gains in overseas markets
Japan's benchmark Nikkei rose 1.2 percent. The index plunged 7.3 percent Thursday on concerns about Japan's massive economic stimulus program.
European markets also rose. Britain's FTSE 100 jumped 1.8 percent and Germany's DAX gained climbed 1.4 percent.
In commodities trading, the price of oil rose $1.07, or 1.2 percent, to $95.24. Gold fell $7.80, or 0.6 percent, to $1,379 an ounce. The dollar gained against the euro and the Japanese yen.
The Dow has advanced 18.2 percent this year and the S&P 500 index in 17 percent higher as investors have piled into stocks.
In addition to the housing market recovery, stocks are also rising this year because of optimism that the economy is gathering strength as hiring picks up. Record company earnings and stimulus from the Federal Reserve have also helped send stocks higher.
The Nasdaq composite index climbed 44 points, or 1.6 percent, to 3,514.
Among stocks making big moves, Tiffany rose $3.26, or 4.3 percent, to $79.46 after the high-end jewelry seller said its first quarter net income rose 3 percent as sales improved across all regions. The results beat the forecasts of Wall Street analysts.