Stocks Extend Rally on Confidence over Greece

U.S. stocks finished higher and posted gains for the fourth day on Tuesday on growing confidence that Greece’s government will avoid a sovereign-debt default. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 109.63 points, or 0.91%, to 12,190.01. The S&P 500 gained 17.16 points, or 1.34%, to 1,295.52. The Nasdaq Composite gained 57.60 points, or 2.19%, to 2,687.26.

If the Greek government can win a crucial vote of confidence Tuesday night, paving the way to passing austerity measures into law this month, it will also win an immediate infusion of cash that will tide it — and the rest of Europe — over for now.

Sales of existing U.S. single-family homes and condos fell 3.8% as activity remains muted even with a slump in prices, according to data released Tuesday. The National Association of Realtors said sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million. Resales fell a revised 1.8% in April to 5.00 million compared with the initial estimate of a 0.8% fall to 5.05 million units.

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday began a two-day meeting against the backdrop of a weakening U.S. economy that will likely force policymakers to plan for the possibility that things may get worse. The central bank’s quarterly forecasts, which will be released after the meeting, are likely to be revised down to reflect the recent weakness in the recovery, though officials should reiterate their expectation for a second-half rebound.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $153.6 million to settle civil fraud charges that it misled buyers of complex mortgage investments just as the housing market was collapsing. The settlement announced Tuesday is one of the most significant legal actions targeting Wall Street’s role in the 2008 financial crisis. It comes a year after Goldman Sachs & Co. paid $550 million to settle similar charges.

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