U.S. stocks rise on cheery new homes sales data; Dow up 0.38%

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Investing.com - U.S. stocks rose on Friday after official data revealed more new homes were sold in the U.S. in April than markets were expecting, a sign the once-battered housing sector continues to recover.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 rose 0.38%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.42% to a record-high 1900.53, the first time ever over the 1900 mark, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose 0.76%.

The Volatility S&P 500 index, which measures market volatility, was down 5.15% at 11.41.

The housing sector, which threw the U.S. economy into the worst downturn since the Great Depression and lagged on its recovery for years, is on the mend.

The Census Bureau reported earlier that U.S. new home sales rose 6.4% to 433,000 units in April from 407,000 units in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated 384,000. Analysts had expected new home sales to rise to 425,000 units last month.

A day earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales increased 1.3% in April to an annual rate of 4.65 million units, and hopes that the U.S. housing sector is improving strengthened demand for the dollar on Friday.

In other news, computer maker Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) announced plans to lay off 16,000 workers as part of an ongoing turnaround plan.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE), up 1.28%, Visa Inc (NYSE:V), up 1.21%, and Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), up 1.18%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE), down 0.56%, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD), down 0.44%, and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), down 0.21%.

European indices, meanwhile, ended the day largely higher.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.40%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.33%, while Germany's DAX rose 0.48%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.07%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



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