Futures heading higher ahead of housing data

Stock futures higher in advance of latest housing data expected to paint improving picture

Associated Press
Waiting on fiscal cliff compromise, stocks inch up
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FILE - Trader Richard Scardino, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in this Dec. 14, 2012 file photo taken in in New York. World stock markets faced resistance Thursday Dec. 20, 2012 after talks turned sour among U.S. political leaders trying to reach an agreement over how to avert an economically disastrous "fiscal cliff" before the end of the year. A downturn in U.S. housing starts also hurt sentiment. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures are heading higher in advance of more housing data that most economists expect will paint an improving picture.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 9 points to 13,228. The broader S&P futures have added 1.1 points to 1,434.20. Nasdaq futures are up 5.5 points to 2,698.50.

National Association of Realtors releases its monthly report on previously occupied homes. Economists predict it will show that sales are hitting levels not seen in more than 2½ years.

Homebuilders have been posting some impressive numbers, and KB Home became the latest to do so Thursday.

The Los Angeles builder easily beat Wall Street expectations. Potential future housing revenue in backlog climbed 35 percent. That signifies the company's best fourth quarter since 2007, when the housing crisis was beginning to unfold.

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