North American stocks were up slightly in midday trading on Tuesday, following a rise in U.S. home prices and a better-than-expected reading on consumer confidence.
Shortly after noon, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 13,585 – putting the blue-chip index on track to end a three-day losing slump. The broader S&P 500 was up 2 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 1,459. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 20 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 12,334.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for September rose to 70.3, hitting a seven-month high and rising well above expectations.
The 20-city S&P Case-Shiller home price index for July rose for a sixth straight month, marking a 1.2 per cent gain in prices over last year and providing more evidence that the U.S. housing sector is coming back to life.
Within the S&P 500, health care stocks and consumer discretionary stocks rose 0.6 per cent each, suggesting little differentiation between economically sensitive stocks and defensive stocks. Telecom stocks rose 0.3 per cent, while materials and energy stocks dipped slightly.
In Canada, materials rose 0.7 per cent as gold producers rose with gold: It traded at $1,774 (U.S.) an ounce, up $10. Energy stocks were relatively flat, but financials rose 0.5 per cent.
In Europe, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4 per cent and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.2 per cent.