New York Signs of strength in the housing market pushed the Dow Jones industrial average to its second straight gain of more than 100 points.
An increase in the number of people with contracts to buy homes and the first profit at homebuilder D.R. Horton in three years raised hopes that one of the weakest parts of the economy is improving.
The Dow rose 111 points Tuesday, boosting its two-day gain to 230 points and extending a recovery from a slide in January. It was the biggest back-to-back advance for the Dow in three months.
The National Association of Realtors, a trade group, said its index of sale contracts rose 1 percent in December. It was the ninth improvement over the past 10 months as buyers scrambled to take advantage of a first-time homebuyer tax credit before it was set to expire in November.