US stocks move higher; Home builders gain on hopeful signs of life in the housing market

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NEW YORK, N.Y. – The stock market is higher following encouraging news on the U.S. housing market.

Investors were keeping a watchful eye on developments in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the Ukrainian region of Crimea as an independent country.

Home builders rose after applications for permits to build homes rose 7.7 per cent in February, more than analysts were expecting.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 1,868 as of midday Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 81 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 16,326. The Nasdaq composite rose 38 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 4,318.

GameStop sank 5 per cent following news that Wal-Mart plans to expand its video game trade-in program to its stores.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.68 per cent.

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