US stocks rise on housing optimism

June 3rd, 2009 - 5:51 am ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New York, June 3 (DPA) Major US stock indices posted gains Tuesday amid improving housing figures, but financial stocks fell amid some new share offerings by top Wall Street firms.
Sales of existing homes jumped 6.7 percent in April from the month before, according to the National Association of Realtors, as record low mortgage rates and home prices are slowly driving buyers back into the market.

But financial shares fell as JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and American Express all raised capital by selling common stock in a bid to repay emergency loans from the US government. The offering diluted the share price of all three firms.

The health industry made gains as President Barack Obama met with members of Congress and urged them to quickly pass a comprehensive health care reform legislation.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 19.43 points, or 0.22 percent, to 8,740.87. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index edged up 1.87 points, or 0.2 percent, to 944.74. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8.12 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,836.80.

The US currency dropped against the euro to 69.87 euro cents from 70.59 euro cents on Monday. The dollar fell against the Japanese currency to 95.70 yen from 96.43 yen.

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