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Midday Report: Stocks Higher as Consumer Confidence, Housing Prices Rise

Stocks were up midday Tuesday as the Dow moves toward the 20,000 milestone and consumer confidence increases.

Stocks were higher on the back of upbeat housing and consumer confidence data following the Christmas holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched closer to the 20,000 milestone, hitting an intraday high of 19,980. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index for October saw a 0.6% increase from the prior month and a 5.1% jump from a year ago, showing a positive improvement in housing prices. The consumer confidence index for December jumped to 113.7 from 109.4, after a significant increase following the presidential election in November. The December data is the highest confidence level since 2001. And Seattle Genetics (SGEN) - Get Free Report shares plunged Tuesday after the FDA said it was putting its cancer drug trial on a clinical hold following the death of four patients while being treated.