NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks are closing higher on encouraging news about home sales and a batch of bright earnings reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 114 points to 13,205. The Standard & Poor's 500 climbed nine points and just missed the important psychological barrier of 1,400, closing at 1,3999.98. The Nasdaq composite index is up 21 points to 3,051.
Home building companies including PulteGroup and Lennar rose.
Problems still loom for the markets, but investors took a day off from worrying. The government reported that unemployment claims fell only slightly, less than economists had hoped for.
European markets ended mixed.
Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was average, 3.9 billion shares.