Stocks Ended Higher on Housing Data

U.S. stocks finished higher on Wednesday, buoyed by strength in shares of home builders after data on home sales came in better than expected. The Dow industrials closed up 13.32 points, or 0.10%, at 13,577.96. The S&P 500 added 1.73 points, or 0.12%, to 1,461.05 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 4.82 points, or 0.15%, to 3,182.62.

A jump in sales of previously occupied homes and further gains in home construction suggest the U.S. housing recovery is gaining momentum. Sales of previously occupied homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. At the same time, builders broke ground on 2.3 percent more homes and apartments in August than July. The Commerce Department said the annual rate of construction rose to a seasonally adjusted 750,000.

Oil ended at $91.98 on Wednesday, dropping $3.31, or 3.5 percent. That was its lowest close since Aug. 3. Oil has fallen 7 percent this week. Also, crude inventories rose three times more than analysts had expected last week. Crude supplies grew by 8.5 million barrels to 367.6 million barrels. That’s 8.4 percent higher than at the same time last year, according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report.

Adobe Systems (ADBE) on Wednesday reported a fiscal third quarter profit of $201.4 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with a profit of $195.1 million, or 39 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue was $1.08 billion, up from $1.01 billion. Adjusted profit was 58 cents a share.

Bed Bath & Beyond. Inc.(BBBY) reported late Wednesday its fiscal second-quarter profit rose to $224.3 million, or 98 cents a share, from $229.4 million, or 93 cents, a year ago. Revenue for the three months ended Aug. 25 rose 12% to $2.59 billion from $2.31 billion.

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