US stocks gain on surprise home sales recovery

New York, Nov 24 (DPA) US stocks surged Monday after the release of some surprisingly buoyant data on home sales.

Existing home sales surged to 6.1 million units in October, the highest annualised rate since February 2007 and up 10.1 percent from September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The figures easily beat expectations and were largely the result of buyers taking advantage of a large government tax credit. The data was still viewed as a positive sign for a housing market that helped spark the world economy’s worst recession in decades.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a three-day skid, surging 132.79 points, or 1.29 percent, to 10,450.95. That marked its highest close in 13 months.

The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 Index jumped 14.86 points, or 1.36 percent, to 1,106.24. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index gained 29.97 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,176.01.

The gains come as the government was preparing to release an updated estimate of third-quarter growth. The US economy grew at a 3.5-percent annual rate in the quarter, according to the first forecast, likely ending the deepest recession in decades, but some economists expect the number will be revised downward on Tuesday.

The US currency fell against the euro to 66.84 euro cents from 67.27 euro cents on Friday. The dollar was little changed against the Japanese currency at 89 yen, from 89.03 yen on Friday.