US stocks edge higher ahead of July 4th holiday

US stocks edge higher ahead of July 4th holiday; Ford rises after vehicle sales rise in June

Associated Press
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In this Friday, June 28, 2013 photo, trader Robert Vella, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks are getting off to a slow start after a three-day rally. U.S. stock futures are rising with industry watchers expecting automakers to post banner sales. The government also releases its May factory orders report Tuesday, July 2, 2013, and economists are looking for signs of an extended recovery in manufacturing. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Good news about car sales, home prices and manufacturing is leading the stock market higher at midday.

Trading was quiet ahead of the July 4th holiday. Traders weighed a number of positive reports, including Ford's best June auto sales since 2006. Home prices climbed to a seven-year high and factory orders rose.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,622 shortly before noon Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 15,003. The Nasdaq composite was up 14 points, or 0.4 percent, at 3,449.

U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Independence Day.

Zynga jumped 9 percent to $3.34 after the troubled online game maker replaced its CEO.

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