Stocks Jump as Home Prices Climb

U.S. stocks jumped higher in early trading on Tuesday, after economic reports illustrated a healthy ending last year for U.S. home prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 96.20 points, or 0.70%, to 13,880.37. The S&P 500 added 6.87 points, or 0.46%, to 1,494.72. The Nasdaq Composite COMP climbed 6.43 points, or 0.21%, to 3,122.68.

U.S. home prices picked up in December, closing out 2012 with the biggest yearly gain in more than six years. The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.9 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping expectations for a gain of 0.5 percent. Prices in the 20 cities jumped 6.8 percent year-over-year, ahead of expectations for 6.6 percent and the best yearly gain since July 2006.

JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to cut 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in its consumer bank in 2013, representing about 1.5 percent of the company’s overall workforce, it said in a presentation to investors on Tuesday.

Macy’s reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets paid off during the holiday season. For the period ended Feb. 2, Macy’s Inc. says it earned $730 million, or $1.83 per share. That compares with $745 million, or $1.74 per share, a year earlier, when the company had more shares outstanding.  Revenue was $9.35 billion, up from $8.72 billion a year ago.

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