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Stocks rise on home prices, factory orders

Traders work the floor of the New York

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during late trading Tuesday. The Commerce Department reported a surge in investment in durable goods for January, and economists expect another strong showing. (March 25, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed within a short reach of its all-time high Tuesday. Rising home prices and orders for manufactured goods drove stocks up from the opening bell.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.78 percent to close at 1,563.77. That's less than two points from the peak it reached on Oct. 9, 2007, before the Great Recession and ensuing financial crisis battered markets.

The S&P 500, used by investors as a proxy for the overall market, is up 9.7 percent so far this year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 111.90 points to 14,559.65 Tuesday.

"Unless something major comes along to derail this rally, it just seems like the market is going to keep climbing higher," said Marty LeClerc, the managing partner of Barrack Yard Advisors, an investment firm in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

The stock market's gains Tuesday were widely shared. All 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose.

Smaller companies, which have been beating the market all year, didn't do as well Tuesday. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.53 percent to 3,252.48. That's roughly half of the S&P 500's gain.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped to 1.91 percent from 1.92 percent. -- AP

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