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Stocks higher after improved housing data

NEW YORK -- Stocks climbed Tuesday on Wall Street after a measure of American home prices posted the largest gain in more than six years, the latest data to indicate an improving housing market.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 25 points at 13,539. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up six points at 1,451. And the Nasdaq composite index rose 16 points to 3,130.

All major stock categories were higher. Technology stocks, banks and telecommunications companies rose the most.

Core Logic, a private provider of real estate data, said U.S. home prices in August were up 4.6 percent over the same period a year earlier. Prices also rose 0.3 percent from July, the sixth straight month of gains.

Other gauges of the housing market have improved in recent months, including a rising number of home sales and increased builder confidence.

On Monday, the manufacturing survey from the Institute for Supply Management also showed improvement. ISM's main index rose above 50, a reading that signals growth. The index had been below 50 from June through August.

Investors are looking ahead to a report Friday on job creation in the United States in September and to quarterly earnings, which begin in earnest when Alcoa, the aluminum company, reports its results Oct. 9.

Elsewhere Tuesday, the price of benchmark crude oil rose 13 cents to $92.61 per barrel. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note crept higher, to 1.64 percent from 1.63 percent Monday.

Among U.S. stocks to watch, General Motors and Ford were reporting September sales later Tuesday. Ford stock was flat in early trading, while GM added 34 cents to $23.43.

European markets were modestly higher. The benchmark stock index rose 0.3 percent in Germany, 0.2 percent in Britain and 0.1 percent in France. Borrowing costs fell slightly for financially troubled Spain and Italy.