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Apple and Microsoft spearhead rise in stocks on Wall Street

Published 24/05/2016

Stocks rose on Wall Street
Stocks rose on Wall Street

US stocks made their biggest gain since March on Tuesday as technology companies like Apple and Microsoft soared.

Homebuilders also climbed after the US government said sales of new homes reached an eight-year high last month. That was a sign the housing market and the broader economy are still in pretty good shape.

Stocks opened higher following hefty gains in Europe. Tech stocks made their biggest gain in almost three months, which erased their losses from earlier this year.

Banks rose as interest rates continued to inch higher, which lets banks make more money on lending. Stocks have alternated between gains and losses in recent days following a four-week-long string of losses.

"A little bit of good data has reminded people that things are actually OK," said David Lefkowitz, senior equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management. "It's almost like a rubber band. When things get too stretched they snap back."

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 213.12 points, or 1.2%, to 17,706.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 28.02 points, or 1.4%, to 2,076.06. The Nasdaq composite index surged 95.27 points, or 2%, to 4,861.06.

Tech stocks led the market higher with their biggest jump since March 1. Apple picked up 1.47 US dollars, or 1.5%, to 97.90 US dollars and Alphabet, Google's parent company, added 15.78 US dollars, or 2.2%, to 733.03 US dollars. Microsoft rose 1.56 US dollars, or 3.1%, to 51.59 US dollars.

Home building stocks jumped after the Commerce Department said sales of new homes reached their highest level since January 2008.

Sales of both newly-built and previously-occupied homes grew as job gains and low mortgage rates encourage Americans to keep buying homes.

Toll Brothers also reported better first-quarter results than analysts expected, and the company raised its annual projections for home prices and sales. The stock gained 2.36 US dollars, or 8.7%, to 29.46 US dollars.

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