Dow tops 9,000 as home sales rise for 3rd month

July 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Dow Jones industrial average is closing above 9,000 for the first time since January. It's the highest closing level for the blue chips since November.

Stocks rose Thursday following the third straight monthly increase in existing home sales.

Stronger-than-expected earnings and more optimistic forecasts have pushed stocks up more than 11 percent in less than two weeks.

The Dow is up 188 at 9,069. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 22 at 976. The Nasdaq composite index is up 47 at 1,974.

Five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.4 billion shares.

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