Wall Street lifts on housing data

Another factor to be cautious about is fees.

US stocks have closed higher as investors cheered a rebound in housing data.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 10.02 points, or 0.06%, to 16,543.08.

The broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 4.46 points, or 0.24%, to 1,892.49, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index surged 22.80 points, or 0.55%, to 4,154.34.

After a sluggish start to the session, stocks turned positive on a report showing the US housing market had turned a corner.

The closely watched existing home sales numbers showed a lift for the first time this year, and while they fell just short of expectations, the 1.3% jump was still warmly received as a good sign for the economy.

Adding to the positivity was news that a flash purchasing managers' index read showed an improvement in activity in the US manufacturing sector.

The only downside in the biggest batch of US data for the week was news weekly jobless claims had risen sharply. Despite the number of claims rising by 28,000 to 326,000, the more closely watched average four-week number was still not far off the seven-year low set last week.

Meanwhile, traders were also digesting mixed data out of Europe and China, with business activity dipping slightly in the eurozone and manufacturing data picking up in China. Despite this, the data remained expansionary in Europe and contractionary in China

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