US Stocks Join Global Market Rally

U.S. stocks soared early Tuesday to step into a third straight day of gains as hopes Europe will act to tackle the region’s debt crisis sparked further buying. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately gained 245.94 points, or 2.23%, to 11,289.80. The S&P 500 Index added 25.81 points, or 2.22% to¬† 1,188.76 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 47.42 points, or 1.88% to 2,564.11.

Home prices rose for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities in July, buoyed by the peak buying season. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday that home prices increased in July from June in 17 of the 20 cities tracked.

Consumers’ confidence in the economy, which plummeted in August, is expected to show only slight improvement in figures being released Tuesday. Economists surveyed by FactSet expect that the Conference Board, a private research group, will report Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 46 in September from 44.5 in August. The August reading was the lowest since April 2009, and it was almost 15 points below July’s reading of 59.2.

Gold gained for the first time in five days in New York as the biggest three-day drop in 28 years spurred some investors to buy the metal on concern about economic growth and debt crises. Gold for December delivery gained $73.20, or 4.6 percent, to $1,668 an ounce by 8:16 a.m.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency failed to adequately oversee billions of dollars’ worth of settlements between mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Bank of America, a government watchdog said.

Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Tuesday its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings jumped 69 percent, boosted in part by a gain from the $525-million sale of its pharmacy benefits management business.

Oil gained more than $2 on Tuesday, rising above $82 a barrel amid optimism that Europe was moving toward a major plan to prevent debt-strapped Greece from going bankrupt. By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was up $2.25 to $82.49 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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