STOCKS RALLY: Here's What You Need To Know

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REUTERS/Larry Downing

Crowds line the Reflecting Pool to witness the 50th anniversary ceremony of the 1963 March on Washington, with the Washington Monument in the background, August 24, 2013.

Stocks recovered some of yesterday's losses.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow:  14,824.5, +48.3, +0.3 %
  • S&P 500: 1,634.9, +4.4, +0.2%
  • NASDAQ: 3,593.3, +14.8, +0.4%

And now, the top stories:

  • The last few months of housing data has been encouraging despite rising mortgage interest rates. But in recent days, the data has been much worse than expected. We saw an awful plunge in new home sales, a deceleration in S&P Case-Shiller home prices, and a lackluster level of housing starts.
  • This morning, we learned that pending home sales fell by 1.3% in July, which was worse than the 0% reading expected by economists. "The modest decline in sales is not yet concerning, and contract activity remains elevated, with the South and Midwest showing no measurable slowdown," said the National Association of Realtor's Lawrence Yun. "However, higher mortgage interest rates and rising home prices are impacting monthly contract activity in the high-cost regions of the Northeast and the West."
  • "This report underscores our view of a modest give-back in existing home sales activity in August and September, following the strong performance in July," said TD Securities' Millan Mulraine. "As such it is at odds with the new home sales report earlier this week which showed a collapse in activity in that segment of the market. The bottom line is simply that higher mortgage rates is beginning to take some bloom off the buoyancy in the housing market, but it is unlikely to derail the recovery - which we expect to be sustained in the months ahead, albeit a slightly more moderate pace."
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