Stocks Opened Higher after Durable Good Data

U.S. stocks advanced at the open on Tuesday as orders for durable goods rose more than estimated in February and home prices hit a six-year high.  The Dow Jones industrial average lately gained 84.18 points, or 0.58 percent, to 14,531.93. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 7.54 points, or 0.49 percent, to 1,559.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 12.82 points, or 0.40 percent, to 3,248.12.

Orders for long-lasting U.S. goods surged in February largely because of gains in the volatile aircraft and defense segments, but demand was mixed for other manufacturers. Durable-goods orders climbed 5.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted $232.1 billion after a revised 3.8% drop in January, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Home prices continued their recovery, rising 8.1% in January from year-earlier levels, according to a reading released Tuesday. The S&P Case-Shiller index, which tracks prices across the 20 largest markets in the nation, posted the biggest year-over-year gain in prices since June 2006.

Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, repeated on Tuesday his call for the U.S. central bank to slightly reduce its bond purchasing program.

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