Stocks Barrel Higher After Jump in Home Sales

Stocks opened higher Monday as the dollar pullled back and gold hit a new record above $1,170 an ounce.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 100 points at the open, topping 10,400, and continued toward 10,500 after a report showed a sharp jump in existing-home sales.

All 30 components were higher, led by Alcoa , American Express and Chevron .

The dollar retreated against other major currencies, hitting a six-week low against the yen, after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the Fed should keep interest rates low for some time. He also said the Fed should continue buying mortgage backed securities and other assets longer than it currently plans.

Oil was up more than $2 a barrelto nearly $80 a barrel on the dollar's retreat and signs of demand from China. Gold hit a new recordabove $1,170 a troy ounce.

Existing-home sales shot up 10.1 percent in October, well above the 2.3 percent rise economists had expected. This came after a a 9.2-percent jump in September.

Microsoft and News Corp. moved one step closer to an exclusive search agreement, where News Corp.'s news sites, including the Wall Street Journal, would only be available on Microsoft's Bing — and removed from Google.

Ebay is back up and runningfollowing weekend disruptions.

A few earnings reports this morning:

Campbell Soup beat earnings expectations and raised its full-year outlook, helped by price increases and a drop in the cost of ingredients like grains and tomatoes.

Tyson Foods reported earnings of 28 cents a share excluding a large goodwill impairment charge.

The real earnings fireworks come after the closing bell, when Hewlett-Packard is the last Dow component to report.

Cadbury shares rose as Kraft Foods is reportedly mulling a higher bidas Hershey and Italy's Ferrero discuss a possible joint bid for Cadbury. Switzerland's Nestle is now also said to be in the mix.

Activision Blizzard gained as Barron's called hte videogame maker's shares inexpensive.

Ciena dropped on news that the company is buying the optical networking and carrier ethernet business of bankrupt Nortel for $769 million.

Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report
Winterizing Your Portfolio - A CNBC Special Report

Also in the news: A survey from the NABE indicated job losses should begin to bottom out during the first quarter.

Credit-reporting agency TransUnion saidlate payments on credit card bills droppedin the third quarter compared to the second, the first time that's happened in a decade.

The Senate has voted to move the health-care reform bill to the Senate floor for debate, where it may face difficulty as a number of Democrats who voted in favor of moving it to the floor say they still have doubts about voting for the actual bill.

- Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.

On Tap for Next Week:

MONDAY: Two-year note auction; Earnings from HP, ADI and Brocade after the bell
TUESDAY: GDP (2nd look); Conference Board consumer confidence; Sheila Bair press briefing; Five-year note auction; Fed minutes; Earnings from American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, Dollar Tree, Hormel, Medtronic and TiVo
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps; weekly jobless claims; durable goods; personal income; Reuters/U of Mich consumer sentiment; new-home sales; weekly crude inventories; 7-year note auction; Earnings from Deere, Tiffany
THURSDAY: Thanksgiving—all US financial markets closed
FRIDAY: Black Friday—US markets open but NYSE closes early

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