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Stocks ended near their best levels Tuesday, with the Dow posting a new high and S&P 500 finishing less than 2 points from its closing peak, lifted by a handful of encouraging economic reports that pointed to an improving economy and as investors seemed to temporarily overlook worries in the euro zone.
Stocks closed in the red Monday, with the S&P 500 moving further away from its all-time high, amid worries over the bailout news in Cyprus and over fears the euro zone's bigger troubled economies such as Spain and Italy may follow suit.
Check out which companies are making headlines after the bell Wednesday:
CNBC's Diana Olick looks at today's mortgage application numbers. A drop in the rate of the 30-year fixed sent mortgage apps higher, she reports.
Ed Walter, CEO of Host Hotels and Resorts, offers his take on the lodging industry right now. In the second half of last year, he says, his company outperformed the industry.
Despite an improving housing market and firming prices, it's going to be difficult to achieve what is already priced into the stocks, which skyrocketed last year, an analyst told CNBC.
High-end home builder Toll Brothers reports fiscal Q1 earnings on Wednesday. CNBC's Diana Olick reports on analysts' expectations.
After improving in 2011, foreclosures ramped up again in 2012, and will likely continue to rise as banks clear out backlogs of distressed loans. More than half of the top 200 U.S. housing markets saw foreclosure numbers rise, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, reports CNBC's Diana Olick.
If there is any bright side to the report, it's that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to make noises about ending its stimulus program any time soon.
Women are getting married later, having kids later and out of wedlock, all prompting them to seek the convenience of large, full-service rental apartment buildings, reports CNBC's Diana Olick.
Is top-line improving? Last quarter, almost every company came in flat or below analysts' expectations on revenues. Today, I am looking at just 15 companies reporting below estimates. That is an important change in trend.
Stocks closed higher Tuesday, with major averages hitting a two-month high, as investors were encouraged that a deal would soon be made in Washington to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
The nation's home builders continue to feel much better about their industry.
Fears of the fiscal cliff could be impacting potential buyers already. The new home sales monthly number from the U.S. Department of Commerce is based on signed contracts.
Sales of existing homes are recovering slowly, but a drop in supplies of those homes is pushing confidence among the new home builders to a six year high.
The federal agency that some credit with saving the housing market during the worst of the recent crash, may now be in need of taxpayer help itself.
The homebuilders are rising from the ashes, after overbuilding and a credit crash sent sales and construction to levels not seen economists began counting all those numbers; they are rising, but not necessarily thriving.
The one thing standing in the way of a more robust housing recovery, is tight credit. Mortgage rates are at near-historic lows, but too many potential home buyers still cannot access these rates due to damaged credit.
A jump in signed contract to buy newly built homes in September brought volumes to the highest level since April of 2010. Is it enough to put a period on the statement that housing is in full recovery? Perhaps, but not an exclamation point.