From The Associated Press
NEW YORK —
Signs that the economic recovery is gaining strength helped push the stock market higher Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 85 points, or 0.6 percent, to 14,533 a half-hour after the opening bell Tuesday.
Factory orders surged in February, helped by a surge in demand for commercial aircraft. Overall orders for durable goods surged 5.7 percent from the previous month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. It was the biggest increase in five months.
Housing prices rose in January at the fastest pace since the summer of 2006, before the housing bubble popped. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city price index climbed 8.1 percent in the 12 months to January. That compares with a 6.8 percent increase the previous month. Prices rose in all 20 cities, led by Phoenix.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose nine points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,560. The Nasdaq composite was up 15 points, or 0.5 percent, to 3,250.
European markets were also up modestly as investors gain confidence in the bailout arranged for Cyprus and its banking system. The island country decided to keep its banks closed for another two days in an attempt to ward off panicked withdrawals.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.94 percent from 1.92 percent late Monday as demand eased for ultra-safe bonds.
For the year, the Dow is up 11 percent, the S&P 500 is up 9.4 percent.
Among stocks making big moves:
— Drive-in restaurant chain Sonic jumped 7 percent after reporting that its quarterly earnings more than doubled. Sales were flat but Sonic said its expects them to improve in the year ahead. Its stock rose 87 cents to $12.60.
— Supervalu rose after announcing plans to lay off more than 1,000 people, roughly 3 percent of its workforce. The supermarket operator said its recent sale of five grocery chains means it needs fewer workers. Supervalu’s stock gained 21 cents to $5.25.