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U.S. Home Prices Rise For First Time In 8 Months

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NEW YORK (AP) — News that U.S. home prices rose for the first time in eight months sent stocks higher Tuesday morning.

Home prices rose in April in 13 of the 20 cities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index. The index hit record lows in March. Falling home prices and foreclosures have been a drag on the U.S. economic recovery.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird Reports

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 80 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,123 in early trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8, or 0.6 percent, to 1,288. The Nasdaq composite rose 19, or 0.7 percent, to 2,706.

Investors are hopeful that Greece can avert a debt default as lawmakers there debate new austerity reforms. Greece must pass the cost-cutting measures before the European Union and International Monetary Fund can release the next installment of emergency loans.

Without the funds, Greece is likely to default on its debt. That could cause credit to seize up in other European countries that also have heavy debt loads such as Portugal and Spain. On Monday a decision by French banks to give Greece more time to pay its debts offered hope that Greece would find a way out of its crisis.

Investors weren’t fazed by a report from a private research group that U.S. consumer confidence slipped to a seven-month low, largely because of worries about jobs.

Nike Inc. rose nearly 8 percent after the sneaker maker reported that its earnings jumped 14 percent, beating analyst expectations.

Tobacco company Altria Group fell two percent after the Food and Drug Administration announced it is reviewing research to determine the public health impact of menthol cigarettes.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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