Posted at 9:40 AM on December 20, 2011
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Housing and mortgages
Positive national data this morning showing an unexpectedly large jump in housing starts and new permits is rallying the stock market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 230 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 11,998, with all 30 components higher. The S&P 500 jumped 25 points, or 2 percent. New construction of U.S. houses rose 9.3% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000 -- the highest pace since April 2010.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a rate of 635,000 last month. Read about housing starts.
Investors also got a burst of good news from Europe, where the heavy debt loads and surging borrowing costs of several euro-zone members have raised the prospects of a global recession.