Stocks Turn Higher as New Home Sales, Consumer Confidence Jump

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock markets turned higher Tuesday after stronger-than-expected data on new home sales and consumer confidence.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.09% to 16,952.57. The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 1,964.66.The Nasdaq was up 0.41% to 4,386.69.

Major indices ended mixed on Monday. U.S. stock markets had a quiet beginning to the week, fresh off a multi-day rally to record highs heading into last weekend.

New home sales jumped 18.6% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000, the fastest pace in six years. Consumer confidence levels rose to a six-year high of 85.2 in June from 82.2 in May, according to the Conference Board.

The upbeat new home sales report was offsetting a cluster of more tepid housing data from earlier. The S&P/Case-Shiller index showed home prices rising at a slower-than-expected 0.2% month over month in April. The FHFA home price index, which was unchanged in April, also presented a downside surprise for many economists.

The housing market reports arrived on the heels of Monday's widely watched existing home sales report, which showed a rise of 4.9% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes. Although the monthly gain was the fastest since August 2011, sales were still 5% below the pace in May 2013.

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